by Jethro Swain
The 2015-16 school year might go down as one of the dramatic in OES history.
In total 12 students left between the beginning and end of the school year. Whether it be because of academic reasons, disciplinary reasons, or just simply not meshing with the school, OES took a big hit this year.
To put it in perspective, 10 students is about 3% of the upper school. At Jesuit, which has 1,280 students as of the 2014 school year, if 3% of the school were to leave, that would be 39 students who left the school — half of an entire grade at OES.
No doubt, this was a tumultuous year. As a community we had to handle issues surrounding topics such as drug and alcohol use, harassment, sexual assault, and racism. Every decision that was made was regarded as controversial, and there was always people on either side of the verdict — which put a lot of tension on the administration.
“This school year wins the “Biggest Drama Queen Superlative” said outgoing senior Jane S., “A lot happened this year, a lot of the seniors feel like they’ve been screwed compared to other graduating senior classes, but we have to keep things in perspective. Even though some of us feel like we got the short end of the stick, we still have to realize that the short end of the stick is still good at OES and realize all of the fun we had.”
Jane makes a good point. While so many bad things seemed to happen this year, we have to look at the good parts of the year as well.
OES won state championships in boys tennis and girls soccer. The boys soccer team exceeded their expectations and made the championship for soccer, losing a heartbreaker to >PAA.
Volleyball beat Catlin and made it to State. Girls lacrosse made it to the semi-finals of their state tournament, and Tolf won districts for the first time ever as well as placing 4th which was the highest finish ever. Both Girls and Boys Track had State athletes, and Alex, “Shin” W. broke the school record for Javelin. Also for track, Girls 4-by-4 got 11th; Alex B. got 9th; Mikaelah M.got 12th; Rory O. got 6th; Stephanie F. got 3rd in two events and broke the school record in the 1500 and 3000m. And for the rest of the guys, Cameron got 3rd; and Oren got 3rd at State.
“The yearbook was so cute!” said Calla Slayton.
“It was a good year. I enjoyed myself,” said Zack H.
“Record low timebacks,” said Kara Tambellini.
“Kara drinking out of exclusively jars this year was my highlight,” said Abe.
All three of the plays had great turnouts this year. Medea in particular is one of the better plays that OES has put on in recent years, being held in high regard by students and faculty alike.
“Soccer season,” says Jon D.
“Slanging Disc on the quad, kick-backs with the squad, good vibes, locals only” said a group of seniors.
“Posting up with the boys on Mama Hood,” said Paxton L.
“Lacrosse games were really fun,” said Brenda C.
Overall, 2015-16 should be looked at in a positive light. Every year administration is going to take some heat and every year kids are going to get in trouble. That’s a part of high school. This year just happened to have a little bit more to it than other years.
We can also look at this year as a rebuilding year. The campus has been under construction the entire year for the Lower School, many faculty and staff are moving on from OES onto either retirement or to new careers — including Head Jordan Elliott — and even Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, the normal site of graduation, is under construction.
When professional sports teams go through rebuilding years, they lose a lot of games and players, but it’s necessary in order for the team to grow and get better. Next year we have a lot to look forward to. A new Lower School, more parking spots, as well as the contributions of new teachers and Head of Upper School in Corbet Clark.
OES is going to be different next year, but it’s still going to be the same school it has always been. We’re going to move on from this hectic year, and in only three months, we’ll all be wrapped up in the 2016-17 school year.
So now we say thanks to all the faculty and staff who are leaving, as well as saying thanks to a very engaged class of 2016 for all the time they’ve put into the community.
I know I’ll be looking forward to my senior year, and next time I write an article, I’ll be stepping into the shoes of the three Dig editors to try and lead the paper with Thomas and Peter.