Olentangy Berlin’s first senior class documents school’s history from the beginning


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DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) — The last first day of school for seniors at Olentangy Berlin High School (OBHS) has significant meaning. They have been the top class for one full year already and they get to try leading the school one last time.

OBHS combined students from three different high schools in its inaugural year. What the school lacked, however, were seniors. That means there was no graduating class, senior night at any of the activities or sports, and no “senioritis.” This year, it will all change.

The morning started with the faculty and staff greeting the students at the front of the school as they arrived by bus and car. The first assembly of the year was kicked off by singing the school’s alma mater “Shoulder to Shoulder.” A song and a theme that the principal takes to heart.

“We’re proud of the claws up, we’re proud of the double blue, we’re proud of saying, ‘Berlin pride is forever,’ because it is,” said Principal Todd Spinner. “20 years from now, I want these students coming back, [saying] I started that, I was a part of that.”

Spinner will not have to wait two decades. The students are talking about their accomplishments already.

Three girls who participate in the yearbook and journalism class at the high school sat down and talked about the first year and the foundation they planted for future generations.

“We were able to build new traditions and start things up for the year,” said senior journalism student Sophia Martel. “Make sure that we show the way how Berlin should be and not the way other schools do it.”

Olentangy Berlin Seniors
Three class of 2020 journalism students at Olentangy Berlin High School talk about their experience documenting the school’s inaugural year and what it’s like to finally be seniors. From left to right, Sophia Martel, Madison Vondersaar, Shey Palmer. Photo by Tony Mirones

What she and her classmates have done is to document the first year. Through photographs, videos, and articles, the group understands their role in the history of the building.

“No other journalism student had the opportunity at any other school to document the history of what was happening like we did,” senior journalism student Madison Vondersaar said with air-quotes. “This is a book [yearbook] that will be looked back on for dozens of years to come, and it was our job to document that.”

The difference between Berlin and the other three schools is that everyone was in this new building together. Everybody was a new kid. What the three noticed was how quickly the students became family.

“Since we had all of last year to make new traditions with the freshman, sophomores, and even ourselves and now the next year is exciting for us to be all together,” said senior journalism student Shey Palmer.

Outside of being seniors, these three girls plan to make their mark by continuing to document the school events, from football, school plays to passing the torch onto the juniors for next year.

Olentangy Berlin High School journalism/yearbook students get acquainted on the first day of school. Photo by Tony Mirones

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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