FHS: A lifelong experience

The Great High School

By Elena C., FHS Journalism, Fredericton High Students speak their mind about the history of Fredericton High School.

Fredericton High School’s long journey to the school it is today.

By Elena C.

 

Ever since I was a little kid Fredericton High School has always been in my life, I cannot ever remember a time without it. When I was a nine I played soccer there in the gyms and all through elementary school I remember going to the auditorium for music festival. When I was fourteen and I was starting my first day of high school, I remember how terrifying the school seemed. It was so big, like a never ending maze, and all the students there seemed so much older than me. As I adjusted to being a student there and saw all the pictures of all the previous students on the wall I realized that FHS has been around for a lot longer than I thought it was.  It also made me think about my family, my grandfather who taught at FHS and my aunt and uncle who all went there.  My uncle Michael died but I get to see his picture on the wall.

FHS is a lot more than a school, it is history.  Going to school there, I sometimes forgot how long it had really been around, what the school and its previous students had been through. I soon realized that there was a lot more to FHS than meets the eye.

FHS was not always the great big building that we know it as today. FHS first became a school in 1785, when Fredericton just became a city. The school began in a little wooden building near the banks of the Saint John River. At that time it was known as the Provincial Academy of Arts and Sciences. Only male teachers and students were involved in the new school and women were not allowed to attend the school. Even just by knowing that, that women were not allowed to go to school, already gives us a sign of just how far back our school goes, how much time has changed.

The University of New Brunswick shared the same building as FHS did, back when both schools were still new; however, as more and more people started attending the schools (even girls) they needed more room to expand. It took 44 years but by 1829,the high school and the university moved to different locations, giving each other enough room. The high school then became a preparatory school for the university.

FHS eventually moved downtown to a red brick building on Brunswick Street. The school was then renamed the Collegiate Grammar School, which is the same building we know now as George Street Middle school. For 143 years the Collegiate Grammar school was the high school. It wasn’t until 1972 that the great big building we now called FHS was built.

High school back then was only for grades10-12, but FHS had a population of about 3000 students; of course it was the only high school for Fredericton and the surrounding areas..  For a few years at this time FHS was the largest high school in the commonwealth.

When I walk around inside the school, and look at the pictures of all the students who graduated before me and see the different eras and styles, I think about everything that this school and its students have been through. There is over 200 years of history at FHS. While we now learn about World War I and II, students that went to this school before us actually lived through those wars and some fought in them.

In 1914, when the First World War began and men were signing up to become a part of the army, this was the next big and exciting thing. Nobody actually knew that it would last for four years and that many, many people would die! The war was made out to sound big and exciting and all the boys thought it would be so much fun to join the army. Even though these where high school kids, who had no training or experience, many faked their age and went and fought in the war anyway. But what they did not realize was that it was it was an actual war with guns and killing, so many of the boys who went to Fredericton high school ended up dying.

It is sad knowing, when you look at the pictures of the students on the wall, that many never came home, they never graduated.

FHS students went through the Great Depression and many more died in World War II.  When you think about FHS and the students that came before us, what major struggle or tragedy have we faced?

Since that time FHS has moved to a new building and has become a great school for students to attend. Our school holds a variety of different activities, clubs, classes and teachers to learn from; the school tries to make sure that there is something for everyone. FHS is more than a school, it`s a community, a place for students to come and be a part of something outside of their homes. “FHS is a great school for both sports and academics, as it offers a wide variety of sports programs and classes,” said Elizabeth D. an FHS students.

If you are a student who likes to sing or are really into music, FHS has a glee club, a musical production, and a variety of different music classes you can take. For students who really like art, there are art clubs and classes you can take to learn about art. The same goes for students who are good with cars, or like math and science, there are lots of different math and science classes, especially for grade 12 students. “As you get older and enter the high grades like, 11 and 12, FHS gets better” said Melissa M. an FHS student.

FHS is full of extra-curricular activities for students to do as well, such as sports; there is football, soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, golf for girls and boys, baseball, etc. Sports are a big part of FHS and they always bring the school together, especially when it is football season and hockey season. The FHS student body is really good at supporting the teams and going out to cheer them on.

FHS has just about every kind of club you can think of – Interact, which is raising money for different charities, Beyond the Hurt, Art club, Glee club, TATU (Teens against Tobacco use), Gay Straight Alliance, Crystal Growing club, Free the Children, TADD (Teens against Drunk Driving).  The list just keeps going on for clubs.

At the beginning of every school year FHS puts on a great musical production.  It is full of great singing, acting and dancing. Production is a great way to make new friends and experience something new and challenging. The musical productions at FHS are always well done and it is always something fun to see.

FHS may seem like just another typical high school, and to some it is, but to others like the students, teachers and even the city, it is our school and it’s a part of what makes our city whole. FHS is not a perfect school; in fact it is far from it.  The building is old, causing the roof to leak, not all the locks on the stalls in the bathroom work, and our computer labs barely work. However, it is small things like that, that makes it a school, gives the school character and shows that it is a school that is well used. It also gives us goals to try to improve on, to make the school a better place for everyone.

Not everyone may have a good high school experience. No matter what the school, there are always going to be bullies, and kids that don’t feel like they fit in. For some it’s just another stop on the road, something they have to go through. But that doesn’t mean the school itself isn’t still important.

FHS is a very good school when it comes to giving students second chances, helping struggling students, or helping students figure out they want to do when they graduate. That’s not something you see in every school.

FHS has been around for almost 230 years and even though the building may have changed and teachers have come and gone, the school itself will always be here.

Elena C. is a grade 12 student at FHS who really loves her school.

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