Final goodbye for Germantown High School
GERMANTOWN - July 20, 2013 (WPVI) -- Teachers packed up and moved out of Germantown High School forever Thursday afternoon.
The 99-year-old landmark building is shutting down tomorrow because of budget slashes.
Nearly 120 seniors got their diplomas last night.
"Even when I had bad days at home or outside of school, I could always come here. This is a safe a place, a warm place with my friends. I actually could call them family," senior Aliyah Muhammad said.
"We have a lot of memories here and a lot of family, warmth," senior Neal Brooks said.
Despite being a century old, the ornate building is in remarkably good condition.
English teacher Jennifer Bashan has taught here for 16 years.
"We were planning on doing something wonderful next year for the 100th anniversary of the school, but now that's not going to be possible, unfortunately. I'm deeply saddened," Bashan said.
The undergrad students will be sent off to Martin Luther King High and Roxborough.
Student security issues concern many including the alumni president Vera Primus.
"They don't want to go. They feel as though, they are afraid, the territories they have to be concerned about," Primus said.
"We have had meetings over the past couple of months, Martin Luther King High School, Roxborough High School, Germantown High School, to try to ease that transition," Germantown principal Alexis Greaves said.
Veteran teachers in the twilight of their careers at this school saw one-half million dollars in college scholarships awarded for this year.
"All of my kids went to college, had scholarships. We guarded them, we directed them," retired teacher Hervolene Mitchell said.
"What charter school has what this building has? You have a gymnasium. You have a library. You have a cafeteria. You have places for students to grow," retiring teacher Shirley Archie said.
For Greaves, Germantown's last principal, he has received his layoff notice after 13 years with the school district - another victim of the budget cuts.
philadelphia, germantown, students, school, local/state, vernon odom
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