Oh, how the times have changed: Oakmont then and now


Since the early 1960s, when Oakmont Regional High School was first starting out, so many things have changed. The building is bigger and better, the course options are greater, and technology has advanced. However, the core of Oakmont – physically and educationally – is much the same. 

Back in the early days, Oakmont was a junior and high school. Therefore, there were many, many more students roaming the halls. On top of it all, the school was not as large as it is today. The whole front part of the school was not built yet. History teacher and Oakmont graduate, Mr. Stiles said, “There were more students, and less space!” 

When 7th and 8th graders were still a part of Oakmont, their classes were mostly in the 300 wing – our current English and Language hallway. Many of the Oakmont alumni have shared that the hallway used to be known as the “Middle School Hallway.” Of course, there was no Overlook Middle School yet. 

Because the front of the building hadn’t been built yet, what is now the teacher’s lounge was the main office. The library was once in the special education rooms.

Looking back, for years, there were handwritten report cards that teachers had to fill out, and were sent home in an envelope. Before there was a computer lab, there was a whole room of typewriters! When computers first started to be used in schools, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. LeBlanc taught the older staff members how to use them. 

Some of the little changes are what made a big difference at Oakmont. Back in the day, there was less need for a dress code, and fashion was extremely different. Some of the trends included a turtle neck sweater with a sweatshirt, satin pants, or 6 inch platform shoes. 

For years, homecoming was a meal instead of a dance. They would set up long tables, and everyone would be able to have a semi-formal meal with their friends. 

Another major way Oakmont is different now is the gender roles. Nowadays, all classes are open to all genders. However, there was a time when girls were not allowed to join any of the technology classes. 

Girls were also almost never allowed to participate in sports. Mrs. Leblanc, a class of 1979 graduate said, “I so badly wanted to try Pole Vaulting, but I was never allowed to.” Instead, most girls were expected to take sewing, or home ec. class. 

Today, Oakmont has an inclusive staff of teachers and professionals who strive to make all feel included and accepted – having the opportunity to learn like all others. Before, students with disabilities were rarely seen in classes with other kids, or even walking through the halls. 

For years, there was a room where staff members could smoke cigarettes on break. Seniors were also allowed to smoke, but their area was in the courtyard. 

Since 1960, when Oakmont Regional High School was established, our school has changed dramatically. It is a friendlier, more accepting, place. In the future, there will be even more changes for the better!