Palatine High School's student news site.


Palatine High School's student news site.


Palatine High School's student news site.


Follow PHS Cutlass

Subscribe for the latest stories!

* indicates required
Translate this article into the following languages
Meet our Staff!
Mia Ochwat
Mia Ochwat

Mia Ochwat is a sophomore at Palatine high school. Ochwat likes to stay busy with many after school activities. These include varsity bowling, being the only 2 handed bowler. She is actively running track...

Changes PHS has faced with Mr. Paul’s 30+ years of teaching

Natalie Steiger
Mr. Paul assists students at Yearbook Club as they work to meet deadlines by creating new spreads.

The Palatine High School that we know now located on 1111 N. Rohlwing Road has had numerous changes and enhancements throughout its nearly 50-year lifespan. Likewise, most of the students and teachers have changed as well and moved on, but fortunately there are still those who witnessed those changes of all magnitudes at PHS that are still around to talk about them today. 

Allen Paul is an English teacher at Palatine High School who began teaching here in 1991 and his commitment to helping students learn is what has continued him to teach here for the past 32 years. 

“This year I teach mostly juniors and seniors,” Paul said. “I teach the science fiction class on the first floor near the gym, the expository research writing class, as well as regular junior English 302 and dual-classed Advanced Placement American Experience. Although, in the past, I’ve taught just about all other English courses students can enroll in.”

Palatine is even to this day making its three-layer building into a more stylized scarlet and gray look to fit in with the school colors. Just last year students saw major layout changes to the Math and Social Studies departments. 

“When I started here the walls were orange and purple,” Paul said. “It still had that very ’70s style psychedelic look even in the ’90s, but ever since then it’s gradually gotten more scarlet and gray. Similarly, the school used to have something called a modular theory program where all the classroom walls used to be thin and movable. However, for both noise and safety reasons the district gradually removed anything having to do with connecting classrooms.”

Although sometimes the biggest changes don’t involve those that can be moved but those that can be seen. That can especially be seen with the population change that took place in Palatine. 

“In my opinion, the biggest change is definitely the demographics,” Paul said. “We went from a school with almost all white kids to a huge mix of different races and cultures. It’s truly remarkable.”

Originally, the Royal Rally of Palatine wasn’t a during-school event, it took place nearly four hours after school was over. Many students, parents and teachers would come to the school on their own accord for these rallies and there would be a variety of unique displays like wild animals that are certainly unheard of in a school setting now. 

“I believe that one unfortunate change is that the students aren’t as enthusiastic at Royal Rally now as they were then,” Paul said. 

“No one was trying to go out the door during ‘Loyalty,’ people were jumping up and down going nuts. It was really exciting. I even brought my own kids to it. I understood why they changed it for transportation reasons, just a shame because it used to be so exciting for everyone.”

It can be both difficult and beautiful witnessing change, especially when it comes to things one is passionate about, but it becomes much more emotional with the experience, especially one that is so profound and holds much weight. 

“When I moved to my uncle’s place in Honolulu I was unsure what I would do,” Paul said. “I worked as a server at a restaurant and after school there were these kids that would come in and I would help them with homework until their mom showed up, and helping those kids is where I found my spark that’s kept me teaching for the past 32 years. No matter what, every time I open that class door I expect to have a good time and I expect that every student wants to hear what I have to say.”



Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Noah Anselmo
Noah Anselmo, Reporter
Noah Anselmo is a senior at Palatine high school. He signed up for journalistic writing due to a certain English teacher’s devilish (although he states he’s only passionate) words that managed to rope him into joining the class journalism. Anselmo is a person with a great sense of humor that may or may not be his natural talent of sarcasm, he also quite enjoys learning Spanish as a new language, has a great memory, is deadly afraid of creepy bees and is highly motivated to do his best every single day to make his parents proud. That and strawberry açaí refreshers. 
Natalie Steiger
Natalie Steiger, Graphic Design Editor
Natalie Steiger is a Junior and reporter for Cutlass. She enjoys lots of activities, but she really loves to discover new bands and listen to lots of music genres. Her favorite band Car Seat Headrest. She is also in training to be Editor-In-Chief for the yearbook!

Comments (0)

All Cutlass Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.