By Margaretta Maguire (282)
For many, the hoards of freshmen gathered in the Hall of Fame and 7:30 in the morning hoping to get one of the envied eighth grade shadows is no surprise. The Central High School shadowing program has been a pivotal part of this community and the Central application process for the last nine years. That is because of Mr. Steinberg, a Central alumni who has managed the student guides, shadows, and parents. He retired from the program earlier this fall.
Mr. Steinberg was in charge of signing prospective students up, matching them with their ninth grade shadows, and taking care of other associated logistics. Additionally, he took on the parent tours that wound throughout the halls of Central, incorporating the experiences of current students and faculty along the way.
Although difficult to imagine now, the shadowing program has not always had such strong roots at Central. In speaking about his experience running the program, Mr. Steinberg said, “Mr. Mckenna asked me to resurrect the program, which I did in 2014, it had been dormant. As it now is, I developed this whole program.”
Shadowing for eighth grade students is an opportunity that makes Central High School stand out from other schools. He highlighted the importance and positive impact of the program; “It gets people familiar with Central. From what I’m told it really is different from other schools.”
He highlighted the intensity and hard work required for the job, saying, “We’ll do about 600-700 shadows this year, and previous years we’ve done 1,000, and it’s a lot of work, and as a volunteer it gets cumbersome.”
His plans post shadowing program? “Sleeping.” Additionally, he plans to spend time with his wife, a retired school principal currently working at Furness Senior High School. They plan to travel together on a cruise through the Mississippi river. He will not be gone forever, however; “I will be coming back in, not every day like I do now, just to see everybody.”
When asked about his hopes for the future of the shadowing program, he responded, “I hope it continues. I hope they can find someone who will continue, who will take it on, it’s a major responsibility. I certainly hope that it does continue.”
It seems as though its legacy will live on; when asked about the future of the shadowing program, President Davis stated, “Mr. Steinberg’s contributions to the Central community are immeasurable. Over the years, he has devoted countless hours and walked miles upon miles throughout our school building providing tours to prospective families. Mr. Steinberg embodies what it means to give back to a school community. His retirement leaves humongous shoes to fill. While we are still in the process of determining what the future holds for Central’s shadowing program, we will always have opportunities for prospective families to visit the campus and learn about our programming. We are considering introducing an open house model beginning in Spring 2023. More information will be shared with the school community at a later date.”
The years of work Mr. Steinberg has poured into the shadowing program at this school is evident. He has changed the admissions process, and set yet another high standard for operations at Central High School.