From Masten Park High School to City Honors:- Table of Contents

Preface | 1973-74 | 1975-76 | 1976 | 1975-80 | 1980-95 | 1995-98 | Staff

A Brief History of City Honors High School From 1975 to 1998
1975-76: The First Year at Bennett

About eighty students were recruited from the entire city; in the first year of the program at Bennett. They were taught by nine staff members: founders Leon Schor and Walt Nicholson in English; founder Sam Alessi taught AP Math, Computers (in cooperation with Hutch-Tech) and doubled as Curriculum Coordinator. The other six teachers are pictured below:

has taught Math at Honors from 1975 to the present.
(Photo: 1976 Bennett yearbook)

has taught Math at Honors from 1975 to 1998 when she retired.
(Photo: 1976 Bennett yearbook)

taught Science at Honors from 1975-85 at CHS, and from 1994 to the present.
(Photo: 1978 CHS yearbook)

taught Science at Honors from 1975 to 1977. Left teaching for a career in business.
(Photo: 1976 Bennett yearbook)

taught History from 1975 to 1987 at Honors, and then from 1990 to 1997 when he retired.
(Photo: 1975 Bennett yearbook)

taught History for one year while Honors was housed at Bennett. Opted to remain at Bennett.
(Photo: 1976 Bennett yearbook)

BENNETT HIGH, 2885 Main St.
City Honors was a school-within-a-school at Bennett for the first year of its existence.

(Photo by C. LaChiusa, 1998)

The year at Bennett was a stormy one for the fledgling program, with conflicts arising primarily due to the privileges the Honors students enjoyed when they left the building to attend science labs at Canisius College. Further, there were charges of “elitism,” a label that has persisted throughout the history of the school.

One way that problems were dealt with (and communication maximized) was through "town meetings" when the nine staff members and all students met as a group, usually at Canisius College. Town meetings were a feature of the program for several more years until numbers became unwieldy.

The first, informal overnight high school camping trip took place during the spring. About seventeen students asked teachers Walt Nicholson and Dick Miodonski to chaperone them at Alleghany State Park. They slept in tents.

This page was created by the City Honors School Webmasters class under the supervision of Chuck LaChiusa
Color photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa

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