Triton: Then vs. Now


Julie Michaleski

Kathy Keeler of Rowley, Bess Corson of Salisbury, Grace Colby of Byfield, Dorothy Powers of Newbury, Janet King of Rowley, and Mrs. Hope Bradshaw, Head Librarian, sit in the Triton Library Commons in the early 1970’s.

In the towns of Salisbury, Newbury, and Rowley, excitement was in the air on September 8th, 1971. Thirteen-hundred teenagers hailed from all three communities to attend the grand opening of Triton Regional Junior-Senior High School.

For the first time ever, students stepped off their buses at 7:30 a.m. and onto Triton’s soil, where they were promptly met with guides to escort them throughout the modern halls. Rowley News correspondent Aldene Gordon described the day as “joyful confusion,” mentioning traffic jams in the cafeteria and parking lots, as well as poorly scheduled class periods.

In “1,300 Triton students find home,” a newspaper article from an unknown source that is within Triton’s historical archive, reporter Julie Michalski also described the school’s opening day, mentioning the “Triton experience,” a new sensation felt exclusively by Triton’s students.

This phrase begs the question: What is the Triton experience?
“My Triton experience was being busy and enjoying my social experience,” states Mrs. Becky Pieceiwicz, Triton alumna from the class of 1984 and current secretary of the Guidance Department. “I loved the social community, I played a couple sports, and I had a great group of friends.”

Does this same experience of Triton continue into its’ current classes?

Senior Juliette Lumley states she doesn’t believe so, claiming “Back then, they had much more school spirit and it looked like a much nicer school. Now it just seems like no one wants to be here.”

Additionally, several students spoken to, including Lumley, mentioned their belief that students feel more heightened stress today as opposed to the likely lax environment Triton could have been in the past.

“I feel like junior year and the start of any year, for you guys, I don’t remember being stressed, are one of the most stressful times of your early educations,” stated Triton alumna and current faculty member Stacey Beaulieu.

Many students seemingly agree with Lumley’s proclamation that Triton was likely more lax in the past. Fellow senior Erica Lops mentioned previous freedoms Triton’s students have had, saying “They literally used to have smoking lounges. I’m pretty sure they could also leave during studies and lunches. We have nothing like that now, though.”

Of the several Triton students spoken to, most claimed that the high school seemed better in the past primarily because of the heightened freedoms students experienced, such as an open campus. Pieceiwicz, however, described a different catalyst, stating “Things were much much more simple at that time [her years as a student at Triton]. We didn’t have cell phones, no texting. I feel like there is a lot of time communicating with friends [nowadays]. A lot of time passes by. There wasn’t this need to constantly be checking that kind of stuff [back then].”

Although Pieceiwicz described cell phones as the major difference between the Triton experience in its early days, and the Triton experience now, she added “We all felt the same pressures that you guys do with college and grades. It all felt the same, but you guys are just living a faster pace life.”


Grace Poster
Seniors Madison Fecteau (back right), Lindsey Gardella (Back left), Onica Mooney (front right) and Erin Drew (front left) do schoolwork in Library Commons.