A Blast From The Past: Anecdotes From Scarsdale Graduates


Jane Gorrin

Over the years, Scarsdale High School has changed immensely in some regards and remained the same in others. Graduates offer a glimpse into this notion!

Daniel Rublin

Scarsdale High School has undergone numerous societal and physical changes during its 103 years of existence. In the twenty-first century at SHS, seniors decorate their cars, play marker tag, and prank freshmen. However, in the twentieth century, some of those traditions had not been implemented yet. David Newman ’87 and Jane Gorrin ’65 explain the ways that SHS has changed since they attended the school.

Newman grew up in Scarsdale, but now lives in Carlisle, Massachusetts. When Newman went to SHS, he contributed to the Maroon. “I actually took a lot of pictures for the Maroon. I was one of the photographers,” he explains. One major difference between the Maroon today and when Newman was a student is that the newspaper was printed frequently during his high school years as there was no website to post articles daily to. Newman said the newspaper was published almost every week.

Gorrin also grew up in Scarsdale, and now lives in Chappaqua, New York. She has five grandchildren who currently attend Scarsdale schools. Gorrin did not remember the Maroon being published as frequently in the 1960s as Newman did in the 1980s. “I don’t remember how often it came out. I don’t think it was weekly- it might have been monthly,” she elaborates. Gorrin remembers the Maroon being handed out during homeroom. “The difference was, your first class when you got to school was homeroom, and you had the same homeroom for four years,” stated Gorrin. “The teacher made announcements; there was no PA system,” he added. Newman also emphasized the fact that homeroom was an important part of an SHS student’s experience as students would always start their days there.

Gorrin’s prom was starkly different from Newman’s. Gorrin recounted that her prom was held in the gym and was very lowkey. She said that the next morning, everyone went to breakfast, and then went to Jones Beach. “Prom was a big deal- we had our prom in New York City at Tavern on the Green. We had a pool party afterwards at the Scarsdale Pool,” countered Newman about the 1980s.

Gorrin said that when she attended SHS, seniors never painted their cars. “I first saw cars being decorated when my daughter was in high school in Chappaqua,” Gorrin explained. Newman remembered that similar to seniors at SHS today, seniors in the 1980s would write all over their cars. “I just saw a picture of my friend’s car, it was a Volkswagen Beetle, and he had written Raiders 1987 all over it,” he added.

Gorrin and Newman both said that football games were a common social activity hub. “I remember going to football games every Saturday with my friends,” said Newman. “After school every Friday, most people would go to the football game if it was a home game,” mentioned Gorrin.

Gorrin explained that while people cared about their grades when she was in high school, grades were not seen as nearly as important as students see grades today. “People didn’t become obsessed like they do now.” 

In the 1960s, the school allowed some students to smoke, as long as they were in a designated smoking area. “You had to be a junior or a senior to go into the smoking area, and that was only during lunchtime,” stated Gorrin. Free periods did not exist when she was at SHS. “You couldn’t leave school grounds… Every period there was a place you had to be. What you would call a free period, we had a study hall.”

Gorrin said that one of the most memorable weeks at SHS was when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. “I remember that it was right before Thanksgiving, and it was the end of the school day.” Gorrin explained that students who were in study hall were pulled from the room and sent around the school to alert the teachers in every classroom about what had happened. She remembered that SHS was closed on the day of the President’s funeral. “It was just utter shock.”

While both Newman and Gorrin described ways that SHS has changed, some things have remained the same. Newman said that he remembers having Richard Clark for Biology in ninth grade, and Clark still teaches at SHS today. “I definitely remember Mr. Clark… I actually liked biology a lot.” While Gorrin and Newman had different experiences at SHS, parallels can be drawn between their experiences and even an SHS student’s experience in 2021.

David Newman graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1987.
Jane Gorrin graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1965.
One senior from the class of 1987 painted his car.