Northwest in its first years

English teacher Ann Burgett and business teacher Georgia Rovenstine discuss the changes Northwest has undergone.

“‘Hats off to employers’ was the theme for the dinner held at Century II for COT students and their employers,” (’79 Silver tip yearbook).

Since 1978, the home of the Grizzlies has undergone minor and major changes. Northwest High School has had its doors open for the past 38 years and has had developments in the academics, scheduling, and construction of the building.

English teacher Ann Burgett has been a part of the Northwest faculty for 23 years after taking some time off in 2008, and has witnessed the change of the school first-hand. Burgett also taught when the school did not have a block schedule. She said that the classes were 50 minutes long and students received a larger workload.

“I think we got a lot done in that time period, because you saw those kids every single day,” Burgett said. “So I felt like I expected a lot more from them because they knew the next day what was going on and we didn’t have to go back and re-teach anything.”

Burgett also said the curriculum has not changed dramatically throughout the years and that Northwest has always been focused on preparing students for college readiness. Even though she has been through the many different tardy policies and teaching styles, the most noticeable change for her was the construction of the building.

“There’s been a lot of add-ons to the school,” Burgett said.

According to principal Gil Alvarez, the new additions of the school has added approximately 58,000 square feet onto the building. Northwest is approximately 308,341 square feet of building.

Everything must develop with time, and the school is no exception. As the years have gone by, the school has become more modernized. Burgett explains how the school slowly gained and obtained computers, overheads, PowerPoints, and Smart Boards, and how these items have affected the students.

“Technology helps make kids expect more because without the technology they would have to be creative in different ways,” Burgett said. “With technology it’s easier to be creative with doing certain things. I think that makes a big difference.”

Business teacher Georgia Rovenstine, has also been working at Northwest for over a decade. She has seen changes in technology, but said that the social patterns of students are still the same.

Since Rovenstine has been a teacher at Northwest since 1997, she has also seen minor changes in not only the students, but also in the parents in their opinion of ways of teaching.

Rovenstine has also noticed specific rules that have changed, similar to Burgett. The advancement Rovenstine noticed more was cellphones, since they weren’t as used as much 20 years ago as they are now.

“Parents have a harder time supporting the cell phone policy because they want to get a hold of their kids,” Rovenstine said. “So we see less parent support because they don’t really understand the principle or reasoning behind it themselves.”

She also describes the similarities and differences in the choice of clothing style of students.

“We didn’t have a cleavage problem because the clothing style has changed,” Rovenstine said. “There’s less clothing on the top and bottom. There [were] also no yoga pants. I went to school in the 70s and it was the same in the 70s because the style was halter tops, the shorts were very short, and mini skirts were around.”

Burgett and Rovenstine share the same opinion about how students had more of a workload in the past years.

“[The] classes I teach are computer classes, so if kids couldn’t get the work done they had to come in after class anyway because they still didn’t have the software,” Rovenstine said. “Math has got a pretty good homework load now, but I don’t think there’s more homework now than what there was at that point.”

According to Burgett, even though Northwest has gone through major developments since 1978, it still has the same core and goal.

“[We] still have high expectations which Northwest has always asked for,” Burgett said. “They ask for excellence and that’s what they expect from the students and that’s what the rules stand by.”