Staples High School vs. Staples Inc.: A Look Into Their Similarities and Differences


As students walk through the hallways at Staples, they may be greeted by one of two aromas: the fresh scent of new paper products and ink or the lingering fume of Axe battling flowery perfumes.

And therein lies the paradox.

Staples High School, named after its founder Horace Staples, and Staples Office Supplies, presumably named after the specific office supplies in which it finds itself to be proficent, are like Lindsay Lohan circa 2002 and Lindsay Lohan circa 2013: they sound similar, but are confusingly different.

But what do Staples the school and Staples the supplier actually have in common? Hamilton Kovtun ’15 said, “Probably the name. Besides that, absolutely nothing.” Other than in their titles, the similarities between the two Staples are lacking. One is filled with employees who supply students with the tools they need to prosper in school. However, Andrew Bowles ’13 sees a similarity between the two. “Both, I assume, are soul-sucking places to spend extended periods of time,” Bowles said.

Despite their differences, both Staples have qualities that make an average high school experience a spectacular one. “I like Robin the lunch lady the best at SHS, and the colorful paperclips at Staples [office supplies],” said Kovtun. Whether it be culinary or clips, people find joy in the little things at both Staples.

Sometimes, the pursuit of Staples happiness is related to the big picture. “My favorite things at Staples High School are the teachers and the happy faces that roam the hallways,” said Francesca Lam ’13. “My favorite thing at the Staples office supply store are the employees and their amazing knowledge of paper and office supplies.”

Many students wish that SHS and Staples Office Supplies would become a united force for Staples goodness. There is potential that a white-lined allegiance between the two Staples would benefit students everywhere. For instance, many students believe that the current Staples High School slogan, “Respect for Life,” should be changed to the Staples office supply slogan, “That was easy.” Lam said, “We should have ‘That was easy’ buttons in place of raising our hands.”

However, many find the closeness of the two Staples to simply create a kerfuffle. An entirely unexpected aspect of naming a high school the same name as an office supply company has arisen: people make jokes about it. “Last year, when I was one of four Staples students running for office in the Junior State of America,” Bowles said, “I was asked if we were being sponsored by the office supply store and if Kinko’s had similar deals.” Similarly, the twin names flummox students everywhere. For example, this scenario: “it’s 7:30 in the morning Mom, where do you think I want to go? I’m in desperate need of a three-hole-punch!”

At least the office supply store is not a particularly popular destination for Westport students. While Isabel Perry ’15 has confused the two Staples, she feels lucky that the problem isn’t any worse. “I mean, at least Horace’s last name wasn’t Pinkberry because, then things would get complicated.”