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"Everyone in town seems to have something to say about education.

We've heard from


the Town Council, the Board of Education, the taxpayers, the teachers, and the parents; but, this
reporter feels it is time to hear from the group that remains largely unheard - the student."
With these words, Jennifer Abella began High School Perspectives on August 24, 1989.
Thirty-seven columnists have carried on the tradition since. But what did they do with their lives
after their final words were written? Using high-tech databases (Facebook), we tracked most of
them down and are releasing their deepest and darkest secrets, post-High School Perspectives.
We were fascinated by the fact that writing the column influenced columnists’ majors and
career paths so much. Out of eleven responses we received, six columnists majored in some form
of journalism. For example, Ross Feldmann (‘94-’95) majored in Print Journalism at Syracuse,
and eventually became Managing Editor of the campus newspaper, the Daily Orange. Ian
Gordon (‘98-’99) double majored in Journalism and Spanish at UNC-Chapel Hill, and became a
beat writer for ESPN: The Magazine. Tara Gorman (‘04’-05) majored in Magazine Journalism at
Boston University, and is currently the Content Manager at Moffly Media, which published five
magazines in Connecticut. Pamela Chan (‘90-’91) majored in Broadcast Journalism, and has
since won two local Emmy awards for news coverage as a reporter at WPIX, the New York City
affiliate of the CW network.
Not everyone used the column to determine their life’s path. Matt Holahan (‘96-’97)
attended Michigan State University and then veterinary school, and now works at an animal
emergency clinic outside Detroit. Chris Gillon (‘00-’01) graduated from UConn, where he was
managing editor of the Daily Campus, later doing contract work for the Associated Press, and is
now the manager of affiliate relations at MTV. Chad Sansing (‘95-’96) graduated from Ohio
State and became the founding head teacher at Community Public Charter School in Virginia.
Meredith Miller (‘93-’94) graduated from the University of Chicago, got her MFA in
Photography at the Yale School of Art, and currently works as a photographer at Yale Beinecke
Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Erin Doyle (’91-’92) majored in Russian at Georgetown, got
a Masters in International Affairs at Columbia, and is now a Global Equity Research Analyst at
Deutsche Bank. Devon Kearns (’03-’04) was a Women’s Studies major at Trinity College, and
now works in Washington D.C. for Connecticut Congressman, Jim Himes.
When we asked past columnists for any “memorable moments” related to writing the
column, the stories never stopped coming. Chris Gillon (’00-’01) writes “One woman wrote in to
the Citizen to say our columns were too critical of GHS, and that we should be fired from
writing. She never signed her name, so the Citizen never printed it, but "Proud GHS Parent," as
she signed, was not a fan of ours. Or the First Amendment, apparently.” Matt Holahan (’96-’97)
wrote a column about how overwhelmingly crazy the first few weeks were for the freshmen,
which “greatly offended” Dr. Nocera, the vice-principal in charge of freshman orientation. Chad
Sansing (’95-’96) recalled his poem “The Night Before Winter Break,” which included a passage
about sending then-principal Dr. Bookman downhill on a sled. Pamela Chan (’90-’91) wrote a
news story for the Citizen on the Santa Fun Run, which sparked an interest in journalism that
eventually led to her career as a broadcast journalist. Sean Traynor (’05-’06) used the column in
an attempt to get himself and co-columnist Alex McGlynn dates for the Senior Ball. Devon
Kearns (’03-’04) recalled a column she wrote with co-columnist Tom Volgenau about all the
reasons they didn’t have time to write a column that week. Kearns also fondly remembered the
High School Perspectives “comment box” in the main office frequently being filled with
comments such as “you suck” and “marry me?” Good times. Ross Feldmann (’94-’95) caused
controversy with a piece on the English teachers being required to switch from teaching a
minimum of four classes a semester to five. The department’s argument for having a lower
course load was that they were required to grade a paper from each of their students each week,
creating a heavier burden than other teachers had. But Feldmann and his co-writer Dan Parseliti
asked around, finding that most English teachers did not assign a paper each week – a result they
reported in the column. In Feldmann’s own words, “We caught a lot of flak for that article.” On a
more serious note, Erin Doyle (’91-’92) wrote a column about drinking and driving the week
after her neighbors’ daughter was killed in a drunk driving accident. The neighbors still talk
about how the column was “very special” to them.
Other interesting facts: Ian Gordon (’98-’99) is married to Brooke Toczylowski, whom he
started dating his junior year of high school. They even went to elementary school together!
Ryan Morrisey (’01-’02) and Lauren Dugdale were not only co-columnists, but also ended up as
co-workers, at the marketing agency Mullen Advertising. Chris Gillon (’00-’01) writes “We
[himself and co-columnist Jeff Collins] met with Dr. Bookman, then-principal, every week,
where he would usually say what he didn't like about the column that week, and feed us ideas,
which of course we never used.” And Chad Sansing (’95-’96) says “If the Citizen wanted us for
Middle-Aged Perspectives, I'd sign on with Dave [co-columnist Dave Chmielwski] in an instant,
especially if his mom would make us sandwiches again.”
After writing this article, we couldn’t help but wonder if years from now two high school
seniors will be flooding our Facebook inboxes with questions about our past. This is what we
imagine their “Post-High School Perspectives” column to sound like. “Jesse Rifkin and Sarah
Hokanson (’09-’10) have fond memories about writing High School Perspectives. They brought
a fantastic blend of humor, opinions, reporting, and quality writing to every piece they
wrote. Rifkin graduated from college in 2014. He now hosts The Tonight Show With Jesse
Rifkin and is married to Megan Fox. Hokanson went to college to major in psychology. She
landed her dream job, being a psychologist to Jesse’s co-workers. Anyone who works for Jesse
everyday needs a psychologist.”

P.S. Chad Sansing (’95-’96) asked us to give a shout-out to Brendan Sutch (GHS '96),
for “that time he put nacho cheese in the lunch bully's math book and closed it.”

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