Out With The Old, In With The New May 2022 Centerfold


This school year has been quite eventful. Beginning with the struggles of returning from the COVID-19 pandemic, transitioning to the closing of the building’s entrance for construction, and adding the announcement of our principal Dr. Ira Pernick leaving the building to be replaced by Dr. Kathryn Behr, many long term changes have been put in motion during the 2021-2022 School Year. It seems as though both the student body as well as the administration have used this year as a fresh start, moving away from COVID and toward the future of Schreiber. While this seems to be the case, the Schreiber community has also tried to focus on maintaining the favored traditions of our school. We hosted the first Pep Rally and Spirit Week in over two years, and rumors of the famed Schreiber Slam have even begun to circulate the halls. It is clear that the Schreiber community is stronger than ever and while improvements and changes are being made, our favorite traditions will continue to take place.


Masks Mandate Ending

The beginning of the school year started very similarly to the end of last year. We were socially distant and required to wear masks in the building. It felt as though little progress had been made in returning to a pre-COVID school. This all changed in the beginning of March, when masks were made optional. Not only did this change allow us to see each other’s faces for the first time in what felt like forever, but it also served as measurable progress that we as a school had made in combating the pandemic and returning to normalcy. The tonal shift of Schreiber was apparent from the first day following this change. The Schreiber 2021-22 school year began to feel as “the first year back” for many students in terms of school normalcy and it continues to be one of the most important events that has taken place all year. 



Prior to the pandemic, the district decided to expand the Schreiber including the cafeteria and the technology wing.  These new additions had many purposes: to include a ramp to make the entrance more accessible to students with disabilities, to expand the cafeteria to create room for the growing student body, and to update the technology wing with more resources for learning.

“Several years ago when the district was deciding what should be included in the bond, feedback was solicited from key stakeholders.  As a result of this, it was decided that the cafeteria would be expanded and new spaces would be created for technology class.  This is in addition to the previously completed work that was done on the auditorium and other areas around the school.  This will also eliminate the need for students to walk outside to the portables for technology class,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Miller.

This expansion was a part of the bond issue created a few years ago; the district has been planning this extension for years.  Although it is recently happening, it was meant to begin the summer of 2020.  COVID-19 delayed the construction to begin in the summer of 2021.  The technology suite is being constructed as part of this expansion; there will be an entirely new area including high ceilings and an observation deck for drone activity, and an overall new technologically advanced suite.  In addition, the district is redoing the entire cafeteria including high chairs with cafe seating surrounding the perimeter and a stairway connecting the cafeteria and the commons.

“The reason for the construction is to make the building accessible to all students regardless of physical limitations.  Additionally we are reconfiguring and updating our cafeteria and updating our entire tech week to elevate the overall student experience.  We are all really excited for these updates as the newly renovated cafeteria will create a community-oriented, social experience for students,” said Assistant Principal Mrs. Anisis.


New Principal 

On Feb. 11, it was announced to the district that Dr. Ira Pernick would be resigning as principal of Schreiber High School and transitioning into his new role as Administrator for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  The announcement shocked students and community members as his resignation was announced mid-year with a quick transition.  After leaving, former Schreiber Principal Mr. Jay Lewis returned to serve as interim. 

To aid in the search for a new principal, a series of committees were established with administrators, parents, students, and teachers to help create qualities they wanted to see in a new principal.  After these committees met, interviews and screenings were completed, and it was finally announced that Dr. Behr would become Schreiber’s next principal.  Dr. Behr’s announcement was monumental for the community as she will become Schreiber’s first female principal and one with an advanced degree in music education.  Dr. Behr earned her master’s in Music Education from Syracuse University, and she has served as an orchestra teacher in other districts.  Before coming to Port, Dr. Behr worked at Jericho High School as Assistant Principal. Given all the input from the community and her performance throughout the interview process, she was the clear choice for Schreiber’s new principal. 

So much change has occurred throughout the district over the past few years, yet many in the Schreiber community still desire significant changes from the top down.  Principals often set the direction and goals of a school, so many see this transition as a period to rectify many ongoing issues.  Only time will tell how well the Schreiber community can adapt to change and its new principal. 


New Assistant Principal Search 


Pep Rally and Spirit Week 

All of Schreiber’s students were highly anticipating the return of Spirit Week and a pep rally for the first time in over two years. Spirit Week, which had not been held since the spring of 2019, was a new experience for all students except for the senior class.  The exciting week was kicked off on April 25, where all students needed to wear pajamas to gain points for their grade. To earn points towards winning the week, members of any grade had to sign in with any one of the Spirit Week coordinators while wearing the appropriate attire for the day.  As most of our school expected, the seniors took an early lead in points, but the freshmen were close behind.  On Tuesday, every grade was given a sport to represent with their outfits to show their school spirit.  Once again, the seniors were the highest scoring grade, wearing golf and tennis-inspired clothes.  Next came the holidays, where every group needed to model a certain holiday or holiday season to get points. 

On Thursday, the day of the pep rally, almost every student showed spirit for Schreiber and the Vikings.  Each grade was given a school color to wear: freshman and juniors wore white, and sophomores and seniors wore white.  During the shortened-period day, excitement was at an all-time high, and Schreiber’s students were even painting their faces with the colors their grade was given to be as spirited as possible.  When the pep rally began, it was certainly a different vibe from past events, as it took place outside on the main turf.  Despite the differences, it still was an incredible display of school spirit and a fun event for all.

After the big Viking reveal, events began with a relay race, which was won by the seniors. Then came the biggest event of the day: tug-of-war. In the first round of the tournament, the juniors and seniors took down the sophomores and the freshmen, setting up a matchup of the upper classes. The juniors would win, but the seniors were still the big winners of the day, as it was announced at the end of the rally that they were the winning grade. 


Prom and Graduation

The past two years have been anything but normal.  From drive-by graduation, to virtual school, to one-way hallways, our lives have changed drastically from life before March 13, 2020.  But nobody has experienced it worse than the seniors of 2022.  However, as time passes, it seems like life is moving towards normalcy.  Mask mandates are going away, and vaccine effectiveness is increasing.  

With these advancements in place, regular graduation and prom are a reality for the first time since 2019.  These events are the final chance for seniors to celebrate their hard work and achievements with their childhood friends.  Unsurprisingly, there are some doubts relating to logistics, safety, and sentimentality, but those doubts are a normal part of life. These events come around once in a lifetime, so why should participants let hesitancy ruin the memories? 

Normalcy should offer comfort and security to those who have lived in fear for so long. At the end of the day, hardly anybody will look back at this year’s graduation with regret; instead, they will look back with nostalgia and bittersweet memories.  Seniors deserve to remember the end of high school with a red carpet, upbeat music, and great laughs (even in 2022).  The Class of 2026 will undoubtedly have quite a collection of stories, making the four years a true rollercoaster journey. 

While everyone will move on to new and bigger things, Schreiber will always be remembered as a fundamental part of the journey.  If one good thing has come out of the pandemic, it is the lesson that life is too short to take these phenomenal moments for granted.