Newton North High School: Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in

May 25th, 2008 → 12:23 pm @ // No Comments

This Sunday’s Boston Globe Magazine features, “What are they doing to my high school?”*, a story I wrote about my alma mater, Newton North, which is currently in the process of being ripped down in favor of a brand-spanking new $200 million facility…which means the new building will actually cost more than the Red Sox’s annual payroll.

For those of you worried that the nuances of the article will be over your head if, for instance, you’re unfamiliar with the social topography of North’s “house” system circa the late 1980s, don’t fret – the story includes this handy cheat sheet:

“If The “Breakfast Club” had been set at North, Ally Sheedy would have hung out in Bacon, Molly Ringwald in Riley, Emilio Estevez in Adams, and Anthony Michael Hall in Beals. Despite the mushes’ often violent dislike of the punkers, Judd Nelson could have hung out in either Palmer or Bacon, drugs being, of course, the great equalizer.”

Ah, yes…the joys of pre-“Home Alone” John Hughes movies.

* Warning: the print edition includes a picture of me on prom night.

Post Categories: Boston Globe & John Hughes & mushes & Newton North High School

2 Comments → “Newton North High School: Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in”

  1. Sean

    16 years ago

    I’m sure you’ll have several people making factual challenges to you’re article. Let me start with an easy one.

    The original estimate to build a new school was $104 million. On January 23, 2007, the voters of Newton approved Site Plan 5A, a plan to build the Graham Gund-designed school at an estimated cost of $141 million. Today, the estimate stands at $197.5 million. Can you point to even a single hour of delay since January 23, 2007, attributable to Mark Sangiolo and his design proposal or to any other critic’s call for a pause to reconsider? You won’t be able to. The proponents of the project, including the mayor, have used the results of the referendum to keep their foot on the gas since.

    If the largest chunk of cost increase — $56.5 million — can’t be attributed to all the Newtonians who love to hear themselves talk, it’s kind of hard to maintain your central thesis.

    Make no mistake, Mark and others have been agitating to get the project stopped, for a whole host of reasons, but you assign causation where none exists.

    Kind of makes me rethink my opposition to tearing down the old school. I’ve always contended that it’s the people in the building that make the education, not the building. But, seeing as you were educated in the old Newton North, maybe I’m wrong.


  2. tom

    16 years ago

    I thought this was a puff piece that lacked any content whatsoever. It is disheartening that Seth actually graduated from NNHS and got 99% of his facts wrong. Oh well, another example of a school system on the decline.
    Did you ever think that the process was screwed up from the beginning. The vote should have occurred right when the city decided to replace the old NNHS. This would have saved the city 6 years of fumbling around. The shoddy leadership at every level on this project is embarrassing. What about hiring Gund (oops add 10% to the cost with that decision). Gund designs art, not feasible schools. What about after hiring Gund, did the Mayor give them a budget? No. of course not. Afterall what public entity would give a budget to the great Graham Gund. This showed horrific priorities and decisionmaking from day one, but I noticed you didnt put anything in there about that. Why is that Seth? Was there a hidden agenda to hurt a reputable mans career. Mark Sangiolo didnt deserve the lambasting you gave him in your piece. This was a piece from the Mayor’s perspective not from a rational human being. Do you or your parents have a relationship with the Mayor. This was terrible journalism from supposedly a good journalist. Kudos to you and your misinformation!!!!


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