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The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

The Student News Site of Elkhart High School

The PENNANT Online

Yearbooks: A Time Capsule of Fashion, Friends, and Former Times

Yearbooks: A Time Capsule of Fashion, Friends, and Former Times

Yearbooks serve as a time capsule of fashion, friends, and former times. No school district knows that better than Elkhart.

Both Central and Memorial High School have intensive and lengthy histories: first separate, now conjoined. Combined as EHS, one can discuss the changes between the old Central and Memorial, and the new Elkhart High School. According to accounts straight from Central and Memorial High School graduates who are currently on staff at EHS, there are notable changes that are made clearer with every passing day.

According to multiple Memorial High School grads, the EHS West Campus is like an entirely different building in comparison to when they attended school here. As per Mrs. Jami Presswood, a counselor at EHS, the Elkhart High School Main Campus is immensely different–but different is not necessarily a bad thing. “Parts of the building I feel like are the same, but they have certainly changed a lot, as well,” Mrs. Presswood states. “We used to have a pool, which is now the music department.” Reflecting back, she also recalls this: “The cafeteria did not have all the choices the students have now, but we had open lunches back then. The school/campus itself is much larger now that the two schools combined.” Pausing momentarily, she adds, “I do miss the fun cross-town rival events, but love that our community is all one now.” 

Mrs. Leslie Smith finds it ironic that all these years later, she is actually teaching English in the same room where she was once a student. As the sixth graduating class out of Memorial, one of the biggest changes she has observed is the removal of the second story in the library. “When I was a sophomore, some students hung an effigy of the librarian over the railing; then, the next thing you know, the upper level was gone! Coincidence? I think not!”

Keeping with this theme, Mr. Stephen Asbury  believes that since his time attending Memorial High School, students have become more open-minded as a whole. “I think our era had more school spirit back then [at both Memorial and Central];  HOWEVER,” he adds with emphasis, “I think today’s student body is more tolerant and gets along much better as a whole [in terms of genders, races, etc.] compared to my day.”

Despite the pros of combining schools, Algebra teacher Mrs. Lindsay Nilsen believes that there are some flaws with planning. “The student population of Memorial High School was smaller than EHS is now.” To clarify, she adds, “I feel like I knew most of the people who were in my grade level when I attended school. Now, it seems like the different Schools of Study have put greater distance between people of the same grade level. Also,” Nilsen concluded, “with different campuses, and buildings within this campus, it feels very spread out and disconnected.”

On the other hand, student life at Central seems to have changed just as much. According to Mr. Adam Homo, an English teacher at the Elkhart Freshman Division, the alterations to the daily life of students are obvious. Compared to when he was a student a Central, Homo notes that there is no way to escape the all-seeing eye of security. “The school itself has changed quite a bit. Instead of clean lines in the ceiling, different types of security cameras and detectors poke their heads out as one walks around the building.” The need for security just was not as prevalent “back in the day”–an aspect to student life that Homo wishes had never changed.

“It is interesting walking down the halls as someone 35 years removed from his freshman year in high school,” Homo adds. “If I think too much, nostalgia sets in, and I almost feel as if I am 15-18 years old again…hurrying to make it to Sheline’s English class on time; however, I am well beyond my high school days!” he adds with a boisterous laugh. “When I tell students that I absolutely had a blast during high school, they look at me like I am crazy! The freedoms we were allowed would be unheard of in today’s world,” laments Homo. “For instance, none of Elkhart Central’s doors were locked during school hours. Anyone could walk in at any given time, and no one thought this was a problem–because back then, it wasn’t.”

While these teachers verbally reminisce about what EMHS and ECHS were like, one only need open a yearbook from that time period to reflect on each school’s past. The same can be said of each generation who walks through the doors–and eventually across the stage with a diploma in hand. It’s all captured inside of that class’s yearbook. Graduates can be transported back in time through these pages, where they are forever young. Their children can flip through it, as well, to see a different side of their parents–sometimes giggling with and other times laughing at their parents…but always awe struck that, once upon a time, their parents were teenagers, too.

But, the only way to ensure that can happen in your future is to purchase a copy of the 2024 Yearbook now. Don’t be left out. Guaranteed, you’ll regret not having done so later on down the road! 

To purchase a copy, contact Yearbook Adviser Mrs. Amy Stine in C-127 at the EHS Main Campus, or go directly online through this Yearbook Purchase Link.

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About the Contributor
Zaria Stevens
Zaria Stevens, Staff Writer
Hello! I'm Zaria Stevens, and I'm a junior here at Elkhart High School. This is my first year writing for The PENNANT. Growing up, I have always loved reading, writing, and engaging with others. Reading books and writing stories has always been an important part of my life, and I’m so excited to share my opinions through The PENNANT. I decided to join Student Magazine, not only because I’m excited to write, but because I am eager to meet new people this year. I hope that in my time working on the Newsmagazine, I can affect or inform at least one person.

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  • K

    KamiMar 22, 2024 at 10:16 am

    This is such a neat article! It’s so cool to hear feedback from teachers and staff who were once students here. Yearbooks really are how the legacy of a class lives on. I love being a yearbook student, one of my favorite parts is going through the old yearbooks or having someone point to a book and say “that’s the year my dad or mom went here” it’s such a neat experience!