Affectionately known as the "Eileen Era," this decade sees tremendous change in Greenwich High School and the world at large with the advent of instant and largely unedited news communications: CNN, the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, MTV...Issues of security, privacy, morality, life and death ethics, and racial prejudice permeate this decade and are reflected in the microcosm of GHS.
Physically GHS undergoes a massive renovation and rebuilding program (Architects: Antinozzi Associates of Stratford, CT), from 360,00 to 450,000 square feet, at a cost of $43 million. Incorporated in this restructuring are a new Science and Technology wing, black box theater, additional classrooms, art rooms, extended and refurbished locker rooms, and a renovated auditorium, swimming pool and court yard.
The renovations reflect areas of growth at GHS: more emphasis on research in science and technology; remarkable growth in girls' sports in particular and in freshman and JV teams across the board. Music and theater arts studios are expanding and being nationally recognized for excellence. In languages there is more emphasis on practical application and proficiency. The strong ESL program (English as a Second Language), the Special Education programs, and the variety of student clubs show the diversity of this student body.
Alongside academic excellence, however, there is a turbulence in this decade flanked by American involvement in foreign wars. Prejudice, vandalism, bomb threats, and security have become issues in high schools across the country. GHS has responded astutely and firmly to its many challenges. Interestingly, there is renewed involvement in student government, a keen awareness of environmental issues, the implementation of Diversity/Multicultural Celebration Week to promote understanding and unity, zero tolerance for disruptive pranks, and pro-active development of parent/teacher/student communications.
As Greenwich High School's contribution to the Town of Greenwich's 350th Birthday Celebration, Dr. Petruzillo encourages P.T.A. researchers to compile a history of the school. A booklet is produced (comprising most of this website text) and is presented to the Class of 1990. A multi-media exhibition held at GHS for one week, is open to the public.
Ray Hamilton and Fred Myers receive Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.
Dr. Gail Mottola, Choral Director, begins a partnership in music with Sibelius Lukio High School in Helsinki, Finland. On alternate years the Finnish choir and GHS Chamber Singers visit each other's country and perform together.
GHS Football team are State Champions, also again in 1991,1996.
Operation "Desert Storm"
|GHS celebrates the diversity of the student body with a "Multicultural Week" and 21 additional flags are hung in Student Center.|
Computer Club sends e-mail to servicemen in the Persian Gulf. Thirty GHS alumni are in active service.
ARCH School, an alternative high school program for non-traditional students, is founded. It is first located in the Havemeyer Building, then in Archibald Center in Byram, on Stanwich Road, and later back in Byram.
Space shuttle "Endeavor" first mission
L.A. riots following Rodney King beating
|Tour de Folsom, a tricycle race complete with yellow t-shirt for the leading cyclist, is part of a total immersion afternoon in French and German. In 1994 another multi-cultural festival after school, Tarde de Immersion, celebrates Spanish and Italian.|
GHS students build an electric car, to be entered in a national competition for electric, hybird, and solar-electric vehicles, "Solar Flair" ties for 3rd place.
John Yoon, Band Director, and Christopher Shay, Choral Director, join expanding music department.
ESL (English as a Second Language) program is established. (5.5% of the GHS student population).
World Trade Center garage bombing
|GHS Boys Ice Hockey team wins State Championship.|
GHS Chamber Singers perform at the White House.
Terry Lowe, GHS swim coach, is inducted into Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Students are allowed to use calculators for first time during new-two-hour PSAT.
GHS Headmistress, Eileen Petruzillo, named as one of 100 best school managers in North America by independent national panel, cited in "The Executive Educator 100."
|No drugs found in first random drug search in a state public or private school, following new state law (October). Dogs used to sniff GHS lockers.|
"The Beak" is updated to 12 pages; 1,200 copies printed. This student newspaper undergoes very little, if any, censorship or criticism, by the administration," says Dwight Wall, faculty advisor.
In November GHS Girls Swim team wins State Open, and Girls Field Hockey team wins State Championship.
Oklahoma City bombing
Israel/Palestine agreement signed
|GHS Rugby team wins New England Championship. |
GHS Girls tennis takes State title.
GHS Boys Soccer wins FCIAC, and again in 1998.
Commendation from State Education Commission for the state's higest participation in Advanced Placement Examination Program (for 1993-1994).
GHS Theatre Program recognized in top twelve theater programs nationally.
GHS Jazz ensemble and Concert Band (Director John S. Yoon) place first in national music festival in Florida.
Following a coded hate message in the yearbook, which attracts nation-wide attention, a new policy is instituted of complete and attributed quotations only (no more initials or disconnected words.) There is a new emphasis in the school on tolerance to ease racial tension and concern about cliques.
First CD cut: "GHS Chamber Singers on Tour, Finland-Sweden, 1995."
Anthony Nicholson, Physics teacher, receives Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.
Olympic torch passes through Greenwich en route to Atlanta, GA
During Diversity Week, students sign pledge in Student Center against prejudice:
"We the students and staff of GHS promise to build a
community that promotes mutual respect. We will celebrate
our differences and not let them divide us. We will work to
understand, educate, and listen to each other."
Like many schools across Connecticut, GHS now has an Internet website.
Jazz Ensemble is selected as a top 10 finalist in the Lincoln Center's Inaugural Essentially Ellington Tri-State Competition.
Ground-breaking in March for new Science and Technology Wing. In October work starts on pool, expanded sports teams' area, gymnasium, and the auditorium.
January blizzard and more snow days shorten April vacation.
Birth of McCaughey septuplets
"Dolly" -first cloned sheep in Scotland
Deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mother Teresa
75 GHS musicians march in London, England for New Year's Day Parade, subsequent to taking major awards in Washington Competition. GHS Choirs win trophies in Montreal.
GHS adopts an 8 block, 8 day cycle, sacrificing "opens" to gain more credits for students.
Strategy Club leads protest agains dress restrictions. Dr. Petruzillo remains firm, asking students to refrain from costume-like garb - "inappropriate dress for the business of school." Elsewhere in Connecticut, there are trends towards school uniforms.
In September new Science and Technology wing opens.
Senior internships program begins, a six week spring work experience for credit.
In November GHS Thespian Troupe is recognized with a continuous affiliation award for ten years uninterrupted success, by the International Thespian Society (the highly prestigious Drama Honor Society founded in 1929.)
Rick Kohn is selected to be Connecitcut State Director for the national Educational Theater Association.
A new black box theater, seating 80-100 is part of the building rehabilitation; also the Theater Arts Program now has its own instructional and rehearsal space to accommodate enormous increase in student enrollment over the past seven years.
Coach Ornato, "football legend," leaves after 25 years at GHS.
Record: 205-55-6, 7 FCIAC Championships, 4 State titles.
|Boys Swim team wins County Championship for 30th consecutive year.|
GHS graduate wins gold medal in Winter Olympics on American Women's Ice Hockey Team.
Discussion begins on lighting Cardinal Stadium for night games.
Greenwich FIRST Robotics Team is established and competes in Florida. (FIRST=For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology).
GHS Mixed Chorus, Boys Chorus, and Girls Chorus all win gold medals in national music competition held in New York City. GHS choirs perform in Carnegie Hall.
GHS Athletic program (Director Garland Allen) is recognized as one of the state's top 10 athletic programs for outstanding achievement and student participation.
Columbine High School shooting
War in the Balkans, NATO defends Kosovo
In January, Eileen Petruzillo announces retirement effective March 31st. Ralph Mayo, (GHS graduate, Clark Housemaster) assumes interim position.
Robotics Team wins first prize in UTC (United Technologies Corp) New England Regional Robotics Competition in March.
GHS JET (Junior Engineering Team), displaying mastery of physics, chemistry, math and technology, place first in Connecticut.
GHS wins Best School Team trophy at Connecticut Science Fair.
Rugby team places 2nd in national championship in Utah.
Boys Swim: County , LL State and State Open Champi0ns.
Girls Swim: LL State Champions
Girls Field Hockey: CIAC State Champions
Boys Soccer and Ice Hockey teams win FCIACs
Girls Tennis team: State Champions
"Senior Dinner" re-instated for all graduating seniors, held in the Student Center before Awards Ceremony.
March - renovated Dickerman Hollister Auditorium opens.
442 graduate in the Class of 1999.
New Headmistress, Dr. Elaine Bessette, appointed by Board of Education.
Dr. Elaine Bessette comes to Greenwich High School after principalships at West Hartford, Ellington and Glastonbury High Schools. She first visited GHS as a member of the 1994 NEASC evaluation team and was "impressed by the sophistication. Every student I met has been well spoken, articulate, and comfortable in conversation."