By Tiffany Chea ’17 and Sugdiyona Nosirova ’17
Fads have come and gone, technology has improved, and the school has been renovated countless times. Throughout the 75 years that Midwood has stood tall, the one facet that has not changed is our school spirit.
Midwood High School opened its doors to students on February 3, 1941. The anniversary will be in a few months. Times have changed since 1941, as new technology has been introduced and the school’s interior has been altered.
Midwood did not have as large of a variety of clubs 60 years ago. Clubs were previously called commissions, and according to Ms. Marcia Kaufman, they were all student run as opposed to presently when faculty advisors are required. Alongside the abundance of clubs, more teams for both girls and boys are offered nowadays.
“We didn’t have girls teams when I went to school at Midwood,” recalled Ms. Kaufman. “The closest we came to having girls sports teams was Doxa, a girls’ athletic society. We started getting girls teams in the ‘70s.”
The building as a whole has changed drastically. Classrooms in the vicinity of room 415 and room 402 were part of a biological science wing. Currently, the school has a separate annex building dedicated to our science programs, ridding the need of a science wing in the main building. An annex building existed during the early days of Midwood, as a separate elementary school building on 18 Avenue.
Students come and go every four years, but some choose to return for a longer period. Many alumni have returned to become teachers, and they enjoy every aspect of it. Mr. Albert Peterson returned as a math instructor due to his close ties with the school.
“Seeing the school from a different point of view after spending so much time there as a teenager is really an interesting experience,” said Mr. Peterson.
He recalls the school having a different bell schedule, sometimes staying in the building until 4:30 P.M. to complete classes and on select days even later to participate in afterschool activities such as SING and the Gay-Straight Alliance. He noted that the hallways may currently feel overcrowded, but when he attended as a student the conditions were worse, especially since there wasn’t an annex building.
“When I came to the school as a teacher, it felt like I was returning home. I spent a majority of my day here as student and coming back to my roots felt right,” stated Mr. Peterson. “I remember first walking into the building as a scared student and leaving the school as a student with the feeling of Midwood being my second home.”
Another student who decided to return to the school as a teacher is Mr. Pieter Chicofsky. Mr. Chicofsky had no plans on coming back to the school to teach, but when the opportunity arose he took it.
“My time at Midwood could only be described by the word intriguing. It’s the best school in the city with even better kids. I couldn’t have asked for a better job,” said Mr. Chicofsky.
Both Mr. Peterson and Mr. Chicofsky adore their experiences at the school. Mr. Peterson said he is most definitely proud to have attended and teach at such a wonderful high school.
Numerous alumni have donated to school renovations and have attended class reunions where they tour the school and see how it has changed.
For the 75th anniversary, a large event has been planned to commemorate the history of the school. Ms. Wendy Guida, teacher and head of the Alumni Association, dedicates her time to make this event possible.
“The weekend of October 15, 2016 will act as a celebratory weekend,” said Ms. Guida.
On Saturday, the event at the school will occur where alumni can go on tours and that evening, there will be a large gala dinner held at the Grand Prospect Hall. Many speakers are scheduled to attend and possibly a few performers.
According to Ms. Guida, some of the classes will be holding their own smaller events on Friday and Sunday to act as a reunion since many alumnis will be in town.
The entire weekend will be dedicated to alumni reuniting and rejoicing as they look back on years spent at the school. It is sure to be an exciting and hectic event, with many visiting the location where memories were made and where they realized what their passions were.
“It’s a good school,” Ms. Kaufman said. “That’s all there is to it. That’s why people have come back and that’s why I came back. It’s just a good school.”