BHS alumni teachers throwing us back into their days

Spotlight on BHS alumni

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During a pom competition, Shelby Gill (sophomore here), and three of her teammates compete and take pictures with each other after. Gill was on pom for two years of highschool.

Katie Tarnacki and Avarie Willey

Brighton Area Schools has a high number of alumni staff members, and Brighton High School is no exception. There are around 80 alumni staff members employed in the district. 

Some of these alumni staff were even classmates with each other. No matter when they graduated from BHS, they all had unique experiences at the school. 

BHS Campus Security, Shelby Gill, is a 2018 graduate from Brighton High School. Gill was involved in a lot during her years at BHS. As a freshman and sophomore she was part of the pom team.  During her junior and senior years, she was on Brighton’s Project Unified team. She was also on Leadership, Student Council, and BKOM. 

“My favorite memory from high school is probably being a part of Leadership and getting the opportunity to be involved in all different clubs,” said Gill. “you also get to know the ‘ins’ of the school and make the school a better place.”

 Gill believes that the main changes at BHS since she attended are that kids think that they can get away with a lot more and that school spirit participation and student involvement is lower. As a BHS staff member, Gill stays involved as a coach for the Brighton Unified team.

On the sidelines of the game, Gill (junior or senior here) and Morgan smile for a picture. Gill still loves Brighton Unified.

Not long before Gill graduated, another staff member from BHS graduated from the school as well. BHS English Teacher , Madeline Peltier, graduated from BHS in 2013. Peltier believes a change since she attended high school is not necessarily in the building or students, but in herself. She “looks through the school with a whole different lens as a teacher.”

Peltier said her favorite high school memory is, “My homecoming assembly my senior year because I was very nervous but I ended up singing the national anthem. I also coordinated the leadership boys’ hip-hop routine which was lots of fun but was another thing I was worried about. I was dancing in the pom routine, and I got to have a dance off as the bulldog. So it was pretty much every ideal experience mashed into one.” 

Peltier also believes that a difference between when she was attending BHS versus now is less people dress up for spirit days during Homecoming Week, Winterfest, etc. She believes that student participation used to be at ‘100%’ and currently she believes it isn’t even at 70%.

 She was involved in a lot of different types of activities at BHS. She was a part of the pom team all four years of high school, in Leadership her senior year, a part of the musicals ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Beauty in the Beast’, and was in choir. She attempted to run for Exec. Board twice and attempted to create a poetry club. She enjoys being on the teaching-side of things now because she gets to become friends with the teachers, who made her want to be a teacher.  

She said, “I get to see the school in a different light, but in a good way. I get to have my hand at BHS, just in a different way.”

Even one of BHS’s own principals, BHS class of 2023 Principal, Matt Evans, is also a BHS alumni member. Evans graduated in 2006. He played baseball all four years of highschool and was also involved in the National Honor Society. He says that his favorite highschool memory is making it to the baseball state semifinals game. 

Evans also believes that one of the biggest differences between when he was in highschool and now is how many opportunities there are for students to get involved with. In addition, he feels that staff members are very involved in helping students and also to make sure that any clubs/organizations/fundraisers they want to run are supported as well.

Another BHS alumni, AP Psychology teacher Kimberly Davis, graduated in 1994. While in high school, she played alto saxophone in the marching band for all four years of high school. 

Davis explained how she knew three of her coworkers while they were all in high school together, saying, “I knew of Mr.  Carney and Mr. Day in high school, but Mr. Neuman and I were friends.” 

Davis said Brighton was a much smaller district when she was a student compared to now. When she was in high school, the cafeteria was in the basement where her classroom is now, and the freshman had their own separate cafeteria where the current choir room is. 

Davis admitted she was not the best student while she was in high school. She said “I was really good in band and English. I was not an overachiever in math or science. The fact that I got the opportunity to come back here and teach is just a dream come true, I don’t know how it happened, just luck,” she said. 

BHS alumni that currently work in Brighton Area Schools have noticed many changes over time in the school district. Though they all note differences between BHS today and BHS when they graduated there is clearly a common draw to each alumnus that brought them back: Brighton Pride.