The Student News Site of Wylie E. Groves High School

The Groves Scriptor

The Groves Scriptor

The Groves Scriptor

How has Groves changed?

Teachers in Summer Wilderness Adventure in 2011 at Isle Royale National Park Lake Superior. (Left to right: Vanerman, Kotrba, Boyer, Wroblewski)

Groves High School is constantly making renovations and changes to the school itself and its curriculum. During the span of four years, students can note several changes at Groves, and in the span of more than a couple decades the environment has completely changed. Staff members like Dr. Smith, Groves’ principal, Mr. Flynn, Groves’ athletic director, and Mr. Van Ermen, a Groves teacher, have been familiar with Groves High School for many years and have seen changes over long periods of time, and they’re excited to share with us some of their experiences and interactions from their time at Groves.

Dr. Smith came to Groves as a student in 1994 and graduated in 1998. As a student, she greatly enjoyed her time at Groves, so much so that she came back to become principal years later.

 “Groves has always been a deserving community, it was the same way when I was here. People are so supportive of one another. There are so many opportunities to be involved in so many different things,” Smith said. 

She also said that Groves in the 1990s and Groves now share a commonality where the community is accepting and diverse. Once Dr. Smith arrived as the principal, she dedicated her time to doing what’s best for the students of Groves, and while doing that she participated in a very large bond project. This bond project, which is a project where the Birmingham community donates money to help enhance the schools, is meant to update Groves, to “bring it into modern times”. The physical environment at Groves has definitely changed over the years, and Dr. Smith hopes it will be for the better. Dr. Smith is excited for all the students to see the new entrances and remodels on the outside. She wants Groves to “be a place that [students] are proud to go to”. 

Dr. Smith’s senior yearbook photo.

Mr. Flynn has dedicated 34 years to Groves as a teacher and athletic director. He started teaching at Groves in 1990, and is retiring this 2023-2024 school year. As he spends his last few months at the high school, he reflects over how Groves has changed since the year he began teaching.

 “The classes have gotten smarter, and technology is changing the way kids are learning today,” Flynn said. 

He notes that 34 years ago, kids didn’t have phones in their pockets. With technology, the learning environment has adapted drastically. He also notes the changes through athletics and explains that he loves how girl’s sports have grown since the late 1990s.

“Just as I was starting here in the 1990s, it wasn’t just 20 years before that when Groves started bringing girls’ sports in. So there weren’t many girls sports before I got here, and girl sports have come a long way,” Flynn said.

Mr. Flynn, growing up surrounded by sports, has found some sort of appreciation for the renovations made. He wants to thank the people who have put their time into helping Groves sports grow. Most recently, Groves is adding a new gym, which Mr. Flynn is very excited about.

 “The brand new gym is my favorite. That’s why I’m still here, to see the final product,” Flynn said. 

Flynn has been at Groves for 34 years, allowing him to see how far Groves has come. (Areeya Penzak)

Despite retiring, he is excited to see more enhancements in the future when he visits again.

Mr. Van Ermen has taught at Groves High School since January of 1986, which was 38 years ago. He believes that the Groves building has made several renovations and updates in part because of the families that help invest in Groves.

“The place continues to benefit from lots of improvements that our staff pushes for and our community agrees with and our parents and students enjoy.” Vanerman said. 

Groves has also become more accepting. With the diverse community, people of different backgrounds can find their own unique way to call Groves their home. 

“I think our community is accepting and continues to get better about supporting students… There are many programs [such as] AACT, ASA, that complement and support our culture,” Vanerman said. 

He loves the idea that students can find a place to belong, and he thanks some hard working staff members who he says work really hard to maintain that culture of inclusion and development. Despite such improvements, he does believe that technology is taking a toll on both students and teachers. Phones started becoming popular in the late 1900s and early 2000s, and since then, they have proved to be a distraction. 

“I believe that social media is one more hurdle and challenge for the whole society along with our school. I don’t believe that it has brought as much benefit as it has created as much interruption and disconnection,” Vanerman said.

 Overall, Mr. Vanerman hopes that Groves will continue to renovate and become a more inclusive community in the future.

Mr. Vanerman, Mr. Flynn and Dr. Smith are only a sample of the several other staff members who have stayed with Groves throughout its changes. We are thankful for all of the staff member’s contributions and commitments through their school years here. Groves has changed and will continue to change, and whether it’s for the better, or for worse, we must change with it. 

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About the Contributors
Areeya Penzak
Areeya Penzak, Reporter
Areeya Penzak is currently a freshman at Groves High School. This is her first time taking journalism and she is very excited. She plays the alto saxophone in the Groves marching band, and plays the flute in the Groves symphonic band. In her free time, she practices the piano, goes to her art classes, and loves to read. She loves watching a variety of tv shows from 'The Queen’s Gambit" to "Stranger Things", and is currently watching "Young Sheldon". She has also taken photography classes and has learned how to graphic design. She decided to join journalism because she loves the idea of storytelling and hopes to improve her writing skills throughout the trimester.
Ma'Leah Hayes
Ma'Leah Hayes, Reporter
Ma’Leah is currently a freshman at Groves, and this is her first time taking a journalism class and she is very excited to be here. She is a singer with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit and this year she hopes to improve her writing and editing skills. She loves watching "Black-ish" and is currently watching "Grown-ish". A few of her hobbies outside of school are reading, dancing and  hanging with friends and family, and she is very excited to share her  love for writing in this class!
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