Where all did you attend high school?

After 8th grade, I moved to Germany for the third time, and I went to Ulm American High School in West Germany. Our fathers were stationed in Germany, so we were at a military base school. And, during my senior year, the base closed down, and my dad had to get a different job in Huntsville Alabama.

What was different In Germany as far as education was concerned?

Well, it was still an American school, but it was still very different, because there were no discipline problems. If you got in trouble, they called your dad. So, he had to come down, leave work in his uniform, and deal with you. If you got in trouble again, they called your dad’s commander, and it could affect his career, so nobody really got in trouble. Also, we had a lot of freedom. We were able to leave during the day. We could get a soda, go home for lunch, we really didn’t have the same kinds of restrictions. Also, we’d go on field trip to new cities, and they would just drop us off a 9 a.m. and say, “be here at 3:30,” and that was it.

Do you think that’s better than how it is now?

The fact that we had field trips is nice. I think it’s so different here in that there is liability. Looking back on it, we did a lot of crazy things (in Germany), so I understand why there are many liability issues now. Back then, if you got in trouble, it was your father, not the school.

What were the kids like in Germany?

Social studies teacher Mandy Millican teaches both economics and American History. She grew up with a military father, and experienced her high school in Germany.

They were fascinated with Americans. And we used to have German-American exchanges where we would go to a German school for a day, and they would go to an American school for a day. I remember when they came; there was a sort of shock that we were able to chew gum in school. Also, it was weird to see people of different backgrounds. They were fascinated with my friend because she was African American. When we went to the German schools, it was different. They stay in one room, and the teachers come and go. It was very free, but they did a lot of work.

If you were to be going to high school today, would you choose your high school, or Steinbrenner?

I would plead the fifth, but I will say that my high school years were fantastic, we were very, very lucky. We were in Germany in the late ‘80s early ‘90s. We saw the Berlin Wall fall. We saw Germany go from two Germanys to one Germany. We were able to travel Europe, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Sorry, Steinbrenner, I love you.

What is the one thing you would say to high schoolers today?

Don’t grow up too fast. A lot of times, kids these days try to grow up too fast and do grown up things way too fast. But enjoy being a kid, because once you grow up, you can’t go back.

Brandon Mauriello / News Editor

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