AHS Past and Present

Assistant+Principal+Jamie+Carayiannis+works+in+his+office+after+school.

Christine Tamir

Assistant Principal Jamie Carayiannis works in his office after school.

“All rights ladies and gentlemen…!”

You may recognize the booming voice of Assistant Principal Jamie Carayiannis ending lunch each day. At a recent press conference, Carayiannis reflected on his past experiences as a student and staff member of AHS. He talked about the changes that have occurred to the school since he was a student, and also discussed about the past, present and future of AHS.

Carayiannis was a former student that graduated from AHS in 1976. He went on to attend college and graduated from the University of Richmond. Carayiannis then launched his career as a physical education teacher. Carayiannis began working at AHS since 1990, and since then, he has worked as a physical education teacher, sports coach, sponsor, assistant principal and as the Dean of Students. He brought many resources to AHS which have changed AHS for the better.

Diversity was a topic that arose when Carayiannis spoke about his experiences as a student. In 1976, AHS had a population of approximately 2,400 high schoolers. Of those students, 99.9 percent of them were white and came from a middle class background. There was only one African-American student and on Asian student at the time.

“There was not much diversity,” Carayiannis said.

In 1987, AHS had a shift in diversity when the school gained students from Thomas Jefferson High School after it closed down. The students from the Landmark area brought their athletic talents which boosted AHS’ sports program.

Carayiannis contributed a lot to AHS sports programs. He was the head track coach for ten years, wrestling for five years, football for fifteen years and baseball for one year.

“Every sport is my favorite,” Carayiannis said. “It depends on the season that I’m in.”

Since the years when Carayiannis was a student,many changes have occurred at AHS. Certain influences that have impacted AHS has contributed to its past.

Students and staff were allowed to smoke in designated areas of the school during the 1970s. The faculty had its own smoking lounge.

AHS and the surrounding community were rural, and country life influenced the school. There were sheep farms and many dirt roads in the area. Students were allowed to carry pocket knives on their belts and around campus, and some people even had hunting rifles in their trucks. AHS even had a metal foundry (a factory that produces metal castings) where students took a class to forge metal.

Actions like these are likely to result in severe consequences today, but during Carayiannis’ time, they were considered normal.

According to Carayiannis, AHS has a bright future in store. Carayiannis is very fond of AHS and takes pride in the school. He enjoys his experiences at AHS now more than before.

“I love Annandale High School,” Carayiannis said. “I’d rather be a student here now than back then.”