Wootton through the years: alumni compare their experiences to those of current students


Quinn Lugenbeel, Staff Writer

Imagine going to school without Promethean boards, Chromebooks in every class or even your phone.

That’s the way high school was when this school was built in 1970, and 49 years later, while the building has mostly remained the same, the differences are huge. Every generation of students that has gone through had a completely different experience. So what was high school really like back then versus now?

Things have changed throughout the history of this school, but the main change is the academics. While this school has always been highly ranked, the pressure to perform well has grown tremendously. This used to be a more laid-back and relaxed school, partly due to the absence of AP classes and the nation-wide attitude of not stressing too much about college. Now, it has become one of the most competitive schools in this area. “Wootton was always competitive, but it is even worse now and the number of APs people take is way higher than it used to be,” English teacher and alumni Melissa Kaplan said.

Technology has rapidly developed in the past years and the effects are apparent in schools. Accessing online tools creates a more efficient class and helps students complete work with ease. Assignments are much easier to complete and turn in because of the online flexibility and classes are easier to guide on a Promethean board that can support slideshows and be written on rather than just whiteboards or chalkboards. “Technology has created so many new opportunities for students and I think that goes unnoticed in our generation,” sophomore Michael Fellman said.

Sports and clubs can change every year, but the overall trend remains constant. This school has never been amazing at sports, but they used to be supported more than now with almost the entire school showing up at all the important games. Sports were valued more in this school in the past, but now academics and clubs are more of a priority. Despite this, the interest in participation has spiked and students seem more involved in in-school activities rather than out-of-school. “The sports have never been the strongest but participation seems higher in both clubs and in sports,” Kaplan said.

Although almost every aspect of this school has changed, the physical building itself has stayed nearly exactly the same besides an addition including the Commons and the bridge. The Patriot pride that students possess remains tremendous and, of course, the rivalry with Churchill will always be evident. “To me the biggest and almost only similarity from Wootton now and then is the building,” parent of two current students and alumni Kate Dawson said.

The demographics of this school have drastically changed. Originally a mainly white, Christian school, this school is much more diverse now with an increase in the Asian and Jewish populations. Even though this school is more diverse, it remains one of the least diverse in Montgomery County, only ranking number 27 in diversity out of the 31 high schools by Niche.