They’re back! Some of Mason’s faculty and staff used to attend GMHS as students. Mrs. Dorothy Clinton (secretary to the assistant principals), Mr. Peter Laub (English and creative writing), and Mr. Will Stewart (science) all used to come to school here.
“They used to go here?” Kate Mills, freshman, asked, a shocked look on her face. “Ew. That’s weird. I would never come back.
The alumni probably thought the same thing when they went here. But, nonetheless, they came to work here.
Dorothy Clinton graduated in 1975. She has worked at our school for 25 years. She decided to get a job here because, after working in a law firm in D.C., she did not want to commute. Her sister worked for the school board at the time so she got an interview (with her old principal) and was hired.
When Clinton went to school here, things were very different. Students had much more freedom. For example, there was a smoking section for students outside the building. People always roamed the halls, even during class.
“I remember one year they tried out a new system for the English department,” Clinton said. “They let us pick a different course each quarter instead of our regular English class,” she laughed. “I remember one quarter I took a class on Russian literature.”
“The variety show was also a much bigger deal then than it is now. Everyone wanted to be in the show and they all wanted to do something different. There were bands, the football team did a skit, and people sang. Everyone wanted to go see it.”
Years later, Peter Laub attended GMHS. He graduated in 1998, the year many of our freshmen were born. He served as editor of Lasso Online and left his mark on GMHS.
“I didn’t specifically plan to get a job here. I was coming back from Turkey to the D.C., Northern Virginia area and I applied for many jobs. George Mason just hired me the fastest.”
“Some of my old teachers like Mrs. Dean-Pratt, Mrs. Weber, Mrs. Hawkesworth and Coach Greene still work here,” Laub said. “It was weird coming back and working with them.”
Since he came to school here, technology has changed a lot. For example, there were no lights on the football field. The Homecoming game, as with other games, took place Saturday afternoon and the dance was held that night. There were also no projectors. Classes watched videos on VHS or, for a short time, laser discs (similar to records).
The school has also expanded since then. There was no auxiliary gym and he had an 89 student graduating class.
“It was so small when I went here,” Laub reminisced. “Everyone literally knew everyone. Take the size of the school now, cut it in half and that’s what it was.”
Since Mr. Stewart graduated in 2007, not much has changed. But since it’s only been five years, he knows some of the students and many of the teachers.
“I think the weirdest part coming back is calling my old teachers by their first names. Mr. Snyder, Ms. Goss, Ms. Tooze, Mme. Mah and many others still work here.”
Weird or not, the Mason alumni enjoy teaching here and think it’s cool coming back.
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