The Point

The Point

The Point

Turning Back Time with Teachers

Some say high school is the best four years of your life. But, in Palos Verdes Peninsula School District, many alumni have been drawn to continue long past those four years coming back as teachers and administrators. Over time, many things have changed, from school rivalries and pep rallies to academic rigor to social media and student interaction, but the core spirit of PVUSD has remained.


What changes have you seen from your high school days to now?

Hill: “There is definitely a lot of academic pressure on students [now]. I think because of how competitive colleges [are and they’ve] continued to get a little bit more difficult to get in every single year. On a positive note, I think that there’s definitely a lot of like, school spirit when it comes to things like class comp, ASB, BTC and our different signature programs. It’s awesome to see that a lot of students come out and are involved. I feel like there’s a lot of spirit in the sense of students going out and supporting other Sea Kings, which is a really cool thing to see.”

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How has social media influenced culture we see today?

Shapiro: “People are a lot more aware of what’s going on, but at the same time we get so wrapped up in the digital stuff that we forget about the real experience. Now I feel like a lot of students get a lot of entertainment out of going home, going on their phone, their computer, or video games.”

Hill: “I definitely think that there’s a lot less fraternizing at lunch and in the halls because a lot of people are on their phones. But there are also some positives with social media, it is used to promote school functions. That’s actually probably the best way that information is disseminated to students for them to know that things are going on for the school.”

Nelson: “It feels like the idea of missing out feels way bigger than it was before. The idea of what ‘success’ looks like is more tangible for kids than it was before, because it’s like people are almost selling themselves as a brand. There’s just a greater awareness of everybody. Everybody’s more involved in everyone else’s life.”


What were some traditions on campus during your high school days?

Kim: “We would make mix tapes for each other and give [them] to each other. We would have to record it off the radio, [but,] later they would make CD’s.”

Secrist: “Streakers- the boys liked to put on bandanas or ski masks over their face and run through campus during lunch. I am very grateful that the tradition has not continued.”

Hill: “Our senior class went to the beach and brought back trashcan after trash can full of sand and created this big sand volleyball court in the middle Sea King Park.”


What were teachers like back then?

Secrist: “When I was in high school, I felt [that] the teachers were so incredibly ancient that they really didn’t have any advice that was relevant for my life. I didn’t think that they particularly knew what they were doing.”

Nelson: “I maybe saw my school counselor, I’m going to say one time, but it very well might have been zero times. The support system of teachers and the investment of staff is been a big change.”


What are some of your favorite memories from high school?

Secrist: “Donkey basketball was my favorite event. I can’t believe we were allowed to do it. Now I look back and I am horrified. ASB [would compete against] faculty on actual donkeys. [The donkeys] had rubber around their hooves and everyone would ride a donkey and play basketball around the basketball court. It was like 30 donkeys.”

Shapiro: “My junior year in high school we won the cross country state championship.”


What advice would you give high school students?

Kim: “For me if I could talk to my high school self, I would [say] don’t care about what other people think, most of the time no ones really focusing on you, their focusing on themselves.”

Shapiro: “I think that one of the best things that everybody can do is have good mentors in their life. For me, my high school experience was shaped and defined by my high school coach.”

Secrist: “Get involved. It might sound like more work and the time that you have to study, but in the long run its going to be so worth it because that will build your memories and the path that you end up taking after high school.”

Nelson: “You get this one shot at high school, and I want it to be awesome for you, whatever that feels like, or looks like for you. I just hope that PV High is a place that, when you’re graduated, and you’re like me, and you can’t even calculate how many years has been since you graduated, you look back with like really fond awesome memories, and that you’ve opened yourself up to new people.”

Hill: “I wouldn’t call myself shy in high school, but I would say that I was limited in what I put out there and tried. I just wish maybe that I went out and tried some more things and got involved in a couple other aspects of the school life, because I think I would have been able to see some things that I think I would have really liked.”

About the Contributor
Valerie Villegas, Reporter