Thursday, April 28, 2022

Cheshire High School Hall of Fame - 2022 inductee

Unlike an estimated 86% to 90% of Americans, I liked high school. And I would’ve said that at the time. 

It might help you put that in perspective to know that I entered ninth grade with two middle school yearbook superlatives on my then-nascent résumé: Friendliest and…Best School Citizen. What could go wrong?

I’m a proud product of small-town New England—namely Cheshire, AKA the Bedding Plant Capital of Connecticut. 

Growing up, I heard that no commercial sign could be higher than the second story of a building. (I can’t think of a building in town that had more than two stories.) An apocryphal nighttime activity of certain high schoolers in our farm-adjacent community: cow-tipping. Terrible, which makes me happy to report I never knew of anyone actually doing it. I am wired to function best with a change of seasons, in particular a snowy winter (flurries, don’t waste my time). I pronounce “Bill Clinton” as if the “nt” in the middle of the last name were buried several feet underground, though I’m not sure if that’s unique to CT.

Cheshire has only one public high school. For me, highlights of attending it included designing both the logo of our senior play, The Boyfriend, and the cover of our yearbook. (I also sang and danced in the play, but that was emphatically not a highlight…for anyone listening/watching.)

I’m still in touch with some of my high school teachers and my principal, and not only because it’s part of the Best School Citizen’s Code of Conduct.

My best friends in high school are still my best friends today—same exact group. No one has dropped out, no one has joined. Most of us have relocated to the Washington DC area—because of us. We’re a secret society without the vaguely sinister intrigue.


A few summers ago, two of those friends and I were back in our hometown. On a lark, we stopped by our high school even though I said the doors would be locked. I was wrong. We entered. We reminisced. We recreated (by memory) one of my favorite high school photos. We left without seeing another soul though I, for one, felt many souls.

We didn’t quite nail it.

I even took it upon myself to plan our 30th high school reunion. I was able to round up emails for perhaps two-thirds of our graduating class of 289 and sent the reunion announcement on 3/12/20…yes, the day after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and approximately ten minutes before life as we all knew it screeched to a halt. Number of replies to that initial email: zero. 

Our 30th reunion did take place, but in our 31st post-grad year (November 2021). Maskless and mirthful.

Also delayed due to COVID: the 13th induction ceremony for the Cheshire High School Hall of Fame. I did not know that CHS had a hall of fame before I received an email in December 2019 to notify me that I had been selected as an inductee. Like everything else originally scheduled for spring 2020, it was postponed (eventually more than once), finally happening on 4/24/22 at the venue where we had our senior prom.

As you can imagine, it was an honor for this former Best School Citizen. I was heartened to see that it was also an honor for the other six living inductees, none of whom I knew previously and none of whom were from my year, though one is the brother of a guy I sat next to in homeroom. 

Most had been star athletes so in my brief acceptance speech, I pointed out that I, too, set a high school football record: I did not attend a single game in all four years.

Two plaques per inductee were produced: one for the inductee, one to be hung in the high school. 

This makes up for the fact that I was never Student of the Month. 

Thank you again to the Cheshire High School Alumni Association for this honor, and to Cheshire High School for an experience that, despite the odds, holds a special place in my memory. 

1 comment:

Ananya said...

Congratulations Marc! You must be proud and probably made a few your older teachers at the school proud of your induction as well.

I had no idea of your accomplishments - I just wandered onto your website searching for the 'Sister Christian' girl 😉

Wish you the best!