50 years of growth reshapes school character


File Photo

The school looked quite different in 1971 before the fieldhouse and the large auditorium were added in 2009.

Students today are used to Carroll being a huge school with a lot of people. But it wasn’t always like that.

The freshman building used to be just the middle school and there weren’t as many students in each class. Carroll alumnus and current teacher Mr. Clement’s graduated in 1971 with only 240 students in his class.

That number has since doubled.

Mr. Clements as a Carroll senior in 1971

“I used to be on a first-name basis with all the faculty members,” said Mr. Rollie Clements who graduated in 1971.

Now, he doesn’t know most of the teacher’s names when he looks around. There are more teachers, meaning many new faces.

Girls used to have to wear skirts and guys couldn’t have long hair or a beard. There was a debate about the dress codes on whether or not girls should have been allowed to wear slacks, instead of solely skirts. Guys could wear blue jeans, but only on certain occasions.

Along with the school growing, there have been many constructional changes as well. What is now known as the commons by the grand staircase used to be the cafeteria, where prom was held annually. The science department has changed as well compared to when Mrs. Khun’s and Mr. Wood’s classroom used to be the entire science department. The alumni gym was the only gym for a long time and the multipurpose room was the library.

Structural transformations aren’t the only changes Carroll has undergone. There wasn’t always a meeting, also known as collaboration, for teachers every Wednesday morning. Until about five or six years ago, there used to only be a meeting after school, held once a month.

Mrs. Jeanell Kissinger, a Carroll alumnus who graduated in 2012, didn’t really notice many cliques, just groups of friends. Everyone in her class pretty much got along and talked to each other. There were around 450 students in her graduating class.

It was easy for her to get lost because she was there when the field house between the freshman building and the 10/12 building was being built. She was a freshman when it was going on and there was a lot of construction happening for quite a while. She didn’t feel much pressure as a student, except for what she was planning on doing after graduation; college was more of an expectation instead of an option.

In her words, the dress code was extremely strict. Mrs. Kissinger didn’t mention guys getting many dress code violations but did mention a large number of girls got dress coded.

“I was a student when yoga pants and jeggings first made their debut,” said Mrs. Kissinger. “I remember tons of girls in my class alone receiving dress code violations.”