Packing Up & Moving Out: MHS Teachers Look Back at Their Years in the School Building


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BY ASHLEY GRIMMER

With the demolition of the 49-year-old Mariemont High School building coming soon, many teachers are nostalgic about the end of this era for MHS.  Teachers have come to know their classrooms as a workplace, a home and a place to learn. As days begin to come to a close, MHS teachers tell their stories of the high school building and what it has meant to them.

The photo on the left shows the award-winning library when it opened up in 1970. The right is a comparison photo of the library in 2019. [PHOTO BY GRIMMER]

Mr. Michael Hanley has been teaching at MHS for the past 11 years but has been in the building for much longer.  Hanley was a student at the building for middle school and high school for a total of 6 years.

“I guess that the memory flashbacks is what I’ll miss the most,” said Hanley.  “I can still take a walk through the hallways and there are certain smells or sites that bring back fond memories of being a kid here and with those no longer here.”

Although Hanley is excited about the new building and the educational opportunities it will provide for his students, Hanley is nostalgic about leaving a place that holds so many memories.

“I’m really excited,” said Hanley.  “But I think that I’m going to miss it more then than I think.  I will definitely want to take pictures with Hannah, the kids and me here out in front of the classroom to kind document it.  This was a special place for a long time.”

Mrs. Emily Colpi is in her 17th year of teaching at Mariemont.

Colpi recalled her first time stepping into the library back in 2002.  “I had to put on a hard hat before I walked in there. The library was completely gutted and it was down to the bones.”

From her first time stepping into the library to today, Colpi states that the space has always been evolving.

“From the time that this building was built to now the library has constantly been changing and constantly growing and shifting into different things,” said Colpi.  “I’ve attempted to make this place a home for students. It’s not my library. It’s our library and that’s really crucial to me no matter what the library looks like or where it is.”

Mr. Luke Wiseman, who has been teaching at MHS for the past 19 years, teaches AP Literature & Composition and journalism.

Wiseman believes that every corner of the building is filled with great memories.

“When I first started here, we had divider walls and I just remember those walls would come crashing down because somebody was roughhousing outside, said Wiseman.  “I was annoyed at the time, but now I think it’s really funny.”

“Being a part of this building has been a crazy experience,” said psychology and US history teacher Mrs. Amy Leatherwood.  “It is strange and it’s odd and not ideal but it is still wonderful at the same time.”

The consensus is clear.  Although the halls will be missed, Mariemont High School is much more than a building — it is a community.  This chapter will be missed, but teachers look forward to seeing what all is in store in the next building and for Mariemont as a whole.