Emily Schneider fondly remembers entering Brentwood High School the day before Christmas break each year, as the music teachers played holiday tunes in the lobby and classmates gathered with hot chocolate and cookies.
At pep rallies and sporting events, everyone united to wear the same colors — white, black or camo — to show support for the blue and gold Spartan pride. And when someone was sick, everyone turned out in full force to do what they could, turning the school orange or making bracelets and hosting fundraisers to show support for a classmate in need.
“We're so small. We all know one another,” said Victoria Healy, 18, senior class president. “It's like someone in our family is hurt and we have to help them, or we want to help them.”
Brentwood High School became more than an educational facility for the Class of 2013 during the last four years, students said.
“You become so close with everyone,” said Schneider, class valedictorian. “Even if you're not talking, you just know that everyone is there for you.”
“Small schools are better than big schools,” said salutatorian Sydney Stankus, 18.
“You make a lot of good friends,” Schneider added. “Brentwood really is a family. ... It's nice to see everyone, everyday.”
Even the teachers become an integral part of the students lives, Healy said.
“Teachers will go out of their way, if you're having a bad day, they will notice,” Stankus said. “They care about me on a personal level and they care about my grades, too.”
Being a small school, though, means everyone knows everyone else's business.
“As soon as something happens, everyone knows,” Healy said. “It's like Twitter.”
Leaving the school will be hard, the girls said. But they are also excited for something new.
“You're leaving something that you've known your entire life,” Schneider said. “It's scary. But it gets you ready for something more.”
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.