Where did you go to high school?

Hillsborough High School. I was in the IB program.

What year did you graduate?

2000

What was Hillsborough like back then?

The campus was really still very nice. They’ve done a lot to it now to make it better.  Since we were in the IB program, we were not kept separate from the other students, but we didn’t have a lot of classes with the other kids. There was still a lot of school pride and a lot of after school activities. It was like a good high school.

How were the people?

They were great. A lot of them I knew from elementary school and middle school. It was a pretty diverse group of people.

Was the IB curriculum similar to how it is now?

Yes, oh yes. I don’t think they’ve changed it very much at all.

What was your friend group like?

My friend group was very weird…they were all very weird. Everyone was a very unique individual. They were very creative and involved in a lot of different stuff. We did drama, most of us had jobs, some of us danced…we all just did different stuff. I had a very diverse group of friends, but very close as well.

What did you do outside of school?

In high school I was sort of a nerd so I took a few extra IB courses while I was there. (Laughs) I did drama for a little while. Then I got a job at Little Caesar’s pizza, which took up most of my time, along with getting my service hours. It was good times.

How did you become interested in teaching social studies?

Well, I really liked history. I think it is fun. There’s a lot of room for creativity with the assignments. The curriculum isn’t as strict as other subjects. I’ve tried teaching other things and I just don’t teach them as well.

Why education?

When I was in college, I volunteered with AmeriCorp. I tutored second graders who were way below the reading level they should be at, which I enjoyed doing. When I graduated, I was working at Olive Garden and I realized I couldn’t serve breadsticks for the rest of my life. I knew a principal at a school so I interviewed and started teaching.

Is there anything that you wish you had known in high school that you know now?

Sure. Who wouldn’t want to know things like how to deal with situations or who is going to be there for you 15 years down the line? But if I would change anything…no, probably not. Everything happens for a reason and if it didn’t I wouldn’t be here maybe.

What was the biggest thing happening in the world when you were in high school?

In 2000…y2K was a big deal. Everyone thought the world was going to end because the computers wouldn’t be able to change the dates from 1999 to 2000. Columbine happened when I was in high school my freshman year. There was a transition with that.

Wow, how did things change?

Things didn’t change immediately. There was a different expectation. But people were definitely more aware of safety. As a student, I don’t think we noticed it as much. But I’m sure the teachers were aware of what was going on.

What sort of shenanigans happened on your weekends?

Normal friend stuff. We worked and did community theatre at Carrollwood Playhouse. We went to the movies, friends houses and hung out. None of us were really into going to concerts. Plus my parents were very strict so I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things anyway.

Do you regret anything?

No, you can’t regret stuff from high school. It happens, you learn from it and you move on. It makes you who you are.

Did you ever talk in class?

Yes, I talked in class all the time. We passed notes, like old school. During our geometry class, our whole class made a story. We just wrote a sentence and passed the progressive story.

Natalie Barman / Opinion Editor

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