Top Five Best Things About Staples

In the November 2008 issue of Connecticut Magazine, Staples High School was named the “#1 High School in the State.” While the ranking heavily depended on test scores, percentage of students that attend college, the amount participating in Advanced Placement classes, and various other statistics, I personally believe that Staples is #1 for five other reasons.

1. School Spirit

Staples students have established an official league of fans for almost every sport. Whether it be at soccer games, football games, or even volleyball games, Staples Superfans will be there cheering on their fellow Wreckers. They even have their own white t-shirts to wear to “White Out” games to intimidate the other team from the stands, and hand towels to whip around to show their school spirit. Superfans have organized fan buses that transport loads of students from the high school to the locations of sporting events—for free! In addition, varsity sports have “Senior Days” on the day of the last home game, when all members of the team dress up to support the senior players. Younger players post photos of the seniors throughout the school to encourage other students to come watch the games. Students are always truly dedicated to supporting their fellow classmates in sporting events.

2. The College and Career Center

Part of the reason the statistic for the amount of students who attend college after graduation is so high is due to the services provided by the College and Career Center. Susan Fugitt and Shauna Flaherty recruited 207 colleges and universities this past fall to come to Staples—the meetings were open to all juniors and seniors so that they could become more informed about prospective schools. The Center also organizes a college panel each year, compromised of past graduates who have attended different types of schools to discuss their experiences. The Center also gives freshman a personality type test, sophomores a career interest profiler test, and teaches juniors how to use Naviance. In addition, brochures full of scholarship and community service opportunities can be found in this room, along with five computers that are accessible to all students throughout the school day. It also hosts seminars on how to prepare resumes and for interviews. Yet, its most prized element is the Student Ambassador program; comprised of over 100 students, this group introduces the school to prospective freshman in the fall, welcomes parents during Back to School Nights, hosts parent-teacher coffees and breakfasts, talks to 8th grade students about high school experiences, participates in community service, and greets the admissions representatives from the colleges and universities that come to visit. According to Fugitt, “Staples is the only school I know of with a Student Ambassador program.”

3. Club Selection

For students who are not athletic or simply want to make a greater impact on the Staples community, the school offers 91 clubs to participate in. From the Gay Straight Alliance and Asian Culture Society to Debate Team and the Jewelry Club, there really is something for everyone. Yet for those who cannot find a club that interests them, it is very simple to create a club of your own. In order to do this, a student must get a petition with enough members’ signatures, along with a teacher advisor, and voila—you’ve created your own original club! During the fall, students can showcase their clubs to attract newer members throughout the lunch waves; many make creative posters, give out pamphlets, and hand out tons and tons of candy.

4. Extra Help

The English, Social Studies, Math, Science, and World Language Departments are available to students after school for extra help opportunities. If a student needs help writing or editing a paper, is confused on a math problem, or simply needs help to prepare for an upcoming test, he or she can go to any of the department rooms. Teachers reside in the department rooms throughout all hours of the school day (sometimes even before and after school), waiting for students to ask for their help. In addition, there are learning centers where teachers are specifically stationed to aid students in whichever subject they need help in. Extra help and conferencing opportunities not only help students improve academically, but also allow students to build stronger relationships with their teachers.

5. Technology

Not many high schools across the nation have the same amount of modern technology available as Staples. Staples offers Apple and PC computers (free of charge) to all students in the library and in the Library Media Centers. There are also COWS (Computers on Wheels) that teachers can rent out for their students (free, of course) to use during class periods. Every math and science room has a Smart Board, and every classroom has a projection screen. There are flat-screen televisions plastered on the walls throughout the school that broadcast Staples’ very own Good Morning Staples show, along with important announcements and the daily schedule. Students don’t even need to bring in paper money or coins to pay for their lunches—they simply type in a pin code into a computer to purchase their food. Teachers also utilize programs such as Blackboard, RoundCube,, SnapGrades, and even their original websites to post homework, collect papers, post grades, and keep in contact with their students. All these technological advances make life at Staples that much more enjoyable.