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Clarkston Community School District

From Superintendent Ryan: Come Home to Clarkston

From Superintendent Ryan: Come Home to Clarkston

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to return to St. Vincent's College outside of Pittsburgh for my 25th class reunion. It was the first time I'd been back in 13 years, and while the campus and surrounding areas have expanded significantly, I was left with the overwhelming sense that even though things looked a little different, it was still very much the same school I remembered. It felt like coming home (which is a fitting feeling to have on Homecoming weekend!)

As I was reconnecting with my classmates in Pennsylvania, members of the Clarkston High School Class of 1969 returned to our campus as part of their 50th reunion and our Homecoming weekend. Nearly 30 alumni joined us on a tour of the former high school (now Clarkston Junior High School) and Clarkston High School.

Each year, we lead alumni on a campus tour for a 50th reunion class, and we've learned over the years that no matter how much time or distance separates folks from their alma mater, the wave of emotions they experience as they step inside almost always looks the same.

As they stroll through the halls of the "old" Clarkston High School, it's not unusual to see a few of the former classmates link arms, hold hands, or reach out to touch a locker. They're suddenly 17 again, recalling the time they got caught up in some mischief. They marvel in awe at the tile mural in the commons area that is still just the same as they remember. They stop and take photos on the stairs leading back to the classrooms. They share memories of classmates and teachers and the lessons that haven't faded, even five decades later.

A favorite stop on the tour is a peek into our athletic storage room, which was added onto our gymnasium in 2004 and now covers the iconic flying buttresses. When our former students see those giant iron beams still bolted into cement slabs, it's not long before someone chimes in with a story about scaling the buttresses to the roof. (There's one in every bunch, without fail!)

I think the most powerful part of any Homecoming is the moment you catch yourself standing in a place you once stood next to the people who were there "way back when." It's as if time itself is standing still. You are home.

We want all Clarkston students (past, present, and future), staff, and families to feel that strong sense of "home" when they are in our buildings. In my next "Words from the Supt" I will be sharing how Clarkston Community Schools is being intentional in our district strategic plan about creating a learning environment where all can thrive.

In the meantime, don't be a stranger! Our schools are here for you as a community member, and we would love to welcome you into our home for an athletic event, performance, Board of Education meeting, or volunteer opportunity. We're also looking for part-time Building Aides in two of our elementary schools. If you are interested in joining the Clarkston Community Schools family, please call John Lucido, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services at (248) 623-5419 for more information.

About Clarkston Community Schools: Clarkston is a highly regarded school district with an enrollment of nearly 7,100 students. We have seven elementary schools (K-5), one middle school serving grades 6-7, one junior high for grades 8-9, and Clarkston High School, which serves students in grades 10-12. We also have an Early Childhood Center serving children ages 3-5, and an alternative high school/community education facility. Clarkston Community Schools students are well-prepared for a future that excites them, and believe that they can achieve their dreams. The mission of Clarkston Community Schools is to create a learning environment where students, staff, and families are challenged, healthy, engaged, safe, and supported.

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Media Contact: Mary Ellen Rowe, Marketing Director (248) 623-5460.