I have lots of memories, both good and bad, from my high school days at a large public high school in Westchester. It was the mid 1980s. Socially, I remember two-tone jeans (can’t recall the brand), hanging out by the lockers, and all that big hair. (Personally, I was thrilled when the ’90s swept in and straight hair resumed its rightful prominence in the fashion world.) Academically, I remember cutting up that poor pig in biology class, and lots of fretting over the SATs.
Well, as the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. Luckily the jeans and big hair have remained a thing of the past, but — as getting into college becomes more competitive each year — lots of kids are still losing sleep over the SATs. And while I’m sure that a certain amount of hanging around the lockers still goes on, let’s get real: kids today are hanging out online and on their cell phones. And another thing that hasn’t changed: they are still bullying each other — only today it happens not in the locker room, but online.
As part of our cover story on our top local high schools, we look at the disturbing phenomenon of cyberbullying: when teens humiliate, embarrass or otherwise torment one of their peers using the Internet or other interactive technologies. If you can remember how quickly rumors flew back in the old days, you can only imagine how traumatizing it must be to have something derogatory written about you — and then sent into cyberspace where virtually the entire world can read it. It is a problem that is keeping school psychologists on their toes these days. Luckily, as you’ll read, there are ways to help your kids protect themselves from this high-tech threat. We also profile several area schools that, despite these tough economic times, are continuing to make the grade by offering innovative and progressive programs and courses for their students.
And while it is not politically correct to mention alcohol in the same breath as high school students (and I won’t divulge whether or not I was in high school when I had my first beer), I will admit that I’m thrilled that there are at least eight craft breweries right here in the Hudson Valley. In our comprehensive coverage of these fun and fascinating microbrew pubs, you’ll learn how beer is made, the stories of how each of the breweries got started, and the inside scoop on which ales and lagers are not to be missed.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor In Chief