When Winston Churchill High School encounters adversity, its faculty and students can always look to its namesake for wisdom and inspirational quotes.
Patricia O'Neill, Vice President of the Montgomery County Board of Education, cited a Churchill quote that reflected the ways one could view the high school's long-running renovation project.
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
After a two-year struggle, the optimists have prevailed. Churchill High officially launched a new era in a rededication ceremony on Sunday, April 21. The ceremony included a dedication of the Dr. Gertrude G. Bish Auditorium, and the public was invited to tour the new facilities during an open house.
Churchill Principal Dr. Joan C. Benz pointed out that the rededication was not a ribbon-cutting ceremony, because "Winston Churchill's doors were never shut."
“WINSTON CHURCHILL personified endurance, and so do you," said Montgomery County Councilmember Howard Denis (R-1). The Churchill students and faculty demonstrated "a high degree of flexibility throughout the project," Denis continued.
"I'm pleased with the whole building," said Benz. "Primarily, it now gives us the opportunity, and the kids the opportunity, to offer a totally full spectrum with the best equipment and the best computers that are available."
The Dr. Gertrude G. Bish Auditorium was named after Churchill's principal from 1964 to 1970. Dr. Bish was the school's first principal and the first female high school principal in Montgomery County.
Churchill art teacher George Nemcosky spoke during the auditorium's dedication. Nemcosky, who has been at Churchill since 1968, said that Bish was an advocate for the arts and insisted on a comfortable climate for students to learn.
STUDENTS PERFORMED several song and dance numbers from the Churchill production "Blast from the Past, United We Rock." Senior Danny Binstock sang lead on a cover of Neil Diamond's "America." The ceremony closed with a medley of Starship's "We Built This City" and Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street," with senior Kelen Coleman singing lead.
Performing for the event "was a treat for us," said Binstock. The renovation of Churchill "was difficult. You could have complained, but it was no big deal. It's nice that in the end we get this big reward: a gorgeous auditorium, a gorgeous school, and a parking lot."
Benz said that the Churchill faculty and students handled the change and commotion "fabulously. They were positive, and they were very, very strong... .They handled it entirely well."