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Teachers take a glimpse into the past, present and future of CYHS

January 24, 2019

          Through the years Central has evolved, and while students may not realize it, Central’s teachers do. The typical high school student is in school for four years, and then they move on. However, the teachers who remain over the years have been with Central to experience it all.

         Both Ms. Lori Jacobs and Mr. Matthew Williams have been teachers at Central long enough to remember changes that the school has gone through.

Jacobs, a French teacher, has been with Central for 19 years.

         “I came to Central because I was looking for a job closer to home,” she said. Jacobs began her time at Central during the 2000-2001 school year.

         Through her years of teaching, Jacobs noticed changes within the school, one being final exams.

         “When I first came, all students took final exams in all classes and needed a doctor's excuse to miss. Also, we didn't proctor our own exams,” she said. This was in order to help ensure academic integrity so teachers couldn’t help students during the exams.

         Central York High School’s Principal Dr. David Czarnecki says that the exam process has changed because it is more similar to what students may face in the future.

         “The idea behind exemptions is similar to what you may find in college,” Czarnecki said. “If you earned a high enough grade during the semester, let's say 97 percent, you have obviously mastered the content and curriculum.”

         He says a final grade, when high enough, already shows mastery within the subject.

         Czarnecki said, “There's no need to take another test to show us you have mastered the course when you just proved it over the last 18 weeks.”

         In addition to exams, class structure has changed for Jacobs. When she began teaching, there were no self-paced, online or college in the high school classes. While she views this as an improvement, she likes more of a regular classroom setting.

         “It's the way I learned to teach, and it's the way I feel I do it best,” said Jacobs. Through having her class participate within the same activity, she feels more relationships are built and a team atmosphere is created.

         As a whole these classes were added, according to Czarnecki, because of the options they provide for different types of learners.

         “We have the belief that everyone learns at different rates, has different styles of learning and [that] technology has changed how, when and where we learn. The traditional, self-paced, online, project based, Apollo, MESH and work-based learning options were developed around this belief,” he said.

         Williams, a Chemistry teacher, has been teaching for 33 years, all of which have been at Central.

         According to Williams, differences he has noticed over the years have to do with the building structure.

         “We use to be in wings by department. We had a science wing, math wing, English wing, etc. Now the different disciplines are all over the place,” Williams said.

         For Williams, the current building is a lot larger compared to the older high school.

         “In general the older high school had more of a small town feel. Now we are much larger and spread out,” said Williams.

         However, over the years, both Jacobs and Williams have noticed consistencies.

         Looking to future, Williams said he hopes Central can “maintain its high level of excellence.” Williams feels that Central’s staff, students, parents and “well deserved” reputation are what culminate into making Central excellent.  

         Because of her time at Central, Jacobs said, “I feel as though I've had the opportunity to teach in a progressive school district and one with a good reputation.”

         Williams’ time at Central means he gets to teach the children of his former students.

         “It shows that people feel like Central was good for them and they want that same good experience for their kids,” Williams said.

         Overall, Williams said he takes pride in working at Central, saying, “I have always been proud to say I work at Central York High School.”


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