Washington High School History 1990s - Present

     Washington High School was a dominant athletic force in the 1990s being WPIAL runner ups for football in 1990, 1995, 1998, and 1999.(WPIAL) In 1993, the Wash High Football Team made the playoffs for the first time, won the WPIAL championship, became the regional champs for the first time in 67 years, and celebrated their 100th victory. The boys' and girls' track teams both were represented at the State Finals. The boys' and girls' basketball teams also both made the playoffs in 1993. (Wash High 1993 Yearbook)

     In 1994, the soccer team placed 4th in their section and the wrestling team gained a WPIAL title and made the playoffs for the first time since 1989. (Wash High 1994 Yearbook) The baseball team won two WPIAL championships in 1997 and 1998 as well the PIAA championship in the latter. The basketball team had also won the WPIAL in 1990. The early 2000s followed this trend with the WPIAL and PIAA titles going to the football team in 2001. The baseball team gained another WPIAL championship the next year. The softball team also made playoffs in 2005 and won the "silver" title when they qualified for the first round of the state championship. Other sports that were popular during this time period include volleyball, tennis and the rifle team. In the 1990's, Washington High School also had a variety of clubs and activities available to the student body. Some examples include the Gifted/Talented program, the Academic Team, and the Math Competition team.

      The Academic Team went to Charleroi School District and competed against local schools by answering various trivia questions. Other clubs included the French club, the Spanish club, Yearbook, the Newspaper editors, and the Future Business Leaders of America. In 1994, the French Club had over 60 members. The school newspaper was called "The Black and Blue Tribune" and was constructed based on research and interviews. The Future Business Leaders of America was a club that focused on improving the business skills of the students so they could use them in real world applications. (Wash High 1994 Yearbook) The FBLA also participated in many charity activities and the regional competition at the George Washington Hotel where they placed 2nd in 1994. In 1993, the club also celebrated its 25th anniversary.

     The final group of clubs consists of the Key Club, the Ski Club, the Health Centers Club, the W Club and the S.A.D.D. The Key Club is a community service that was very popular in the 1990's and has continued to be in the present day. The Ski Club was originally called the "The Prexie Schussers" and would travel to Hidden Valley on Mondays. (Wash High 1993 Yearbook) The Health Centers Club focused on helping those with medical disabilities and even contributed to the Special Olympics. Although the W Club does not exist at Wash High now, in the 1990's it was very popular. It was a club that you could join after you received a certain amount of points that only came from athletic participation. Finally, the S.A.D.D. is a former Wash High club that basically focused on helping students say no to drugs, alcohol, and peer pressure. Washington High School also had many notable music and theater programs.

      The Washington High School Band had many different ensembles that students could join. In the 1990's, we had a String Orchestra that no longer exists. However many programs still exist to the present day such as the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and the Steel Band. In 1993, the Steel Band was asked to perform at WVU and even gave a concert in Springfield, MA. In a telephone interview I conducted with Brittany Wenger, a Washington High School alumni, the Steel Band performed at WVU again in 2002. 2004 was a very important year for the music program because this is the year the parking lot was paved for marching band practices and the year in which David Dayton became the band director. A program that is still very popular today is the Prexie Performers. The 1993 show was called "Thursday Night Theater" and productions such as this one gave performing arts students a creative outlet. In 2006 the LGI was redone in order to give the drama department a better rehearsal space. The music and creative arts programs are still very important at Washington High School.

     The classes were run a little bit differently in the past years compared to now. For example, for some time in the 1990's, there were 11 periods in the typical school day and AP US history was offered to sophomores. In 2002-2006, the only AP courses offered were in Social Studies, Science, and English. By 2007, however, AP Calculus was also offered. Block scheduling was also common which was when on certain days of the week certain classes were 90 minutes long. The National Honor Society has always been open to juniors, but in 1994 the GPA requirement was a 3.5 rather than a 3.2. In 2003 the physical education classes had to be taken year round and options such as weightlifting and yoga were offered. Based on the yearbook pictures and responses from Wash High alumni, participation in some programs such as the Key Club, Ski Club, and Marching Band has declined. Despite this decline, the student body of Washington High School still has a huge amount of pride in the school district and continues to represent the high school with excellence in all aspects.

Washington City History 1990s - Present

     Washington's population, which had already been getting steadily smaller, continued to do so. Heavy snow hit the city in 1993 and 1994. On April 9, 1993, the Assistant General Attorney James P. Turner responded to Honorable Austin J. Murphey's concerns regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990(Washington County-Municipal Tax Info.). Bethlehem Steel bought out Lukens Inc. in 1990 and decided to shut down the Washington Steel Plant (Bradwell).

     This eliminated 540 jobs. The Washington Hospital Union struggled to make agreements over pay and benefits in a new contract (Marodi). The Observer Reporter cut its staff to increase efficiency (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). n 1998, Stephen Moschetta became an attorney and earned a position to serve on the Executive Committee (Paper Lays off 19 in Washington, Pa.).

     Kenneth Wescott was the mayor in 2006. Washington High School teachers held a strike over pay. The LeMoyne Community Center reopened in 2008. W&J College expanded its campus with new buildings. The Washington Mall closed from lack of business and the overall economic situation in the city remained poor (Way).

     Lack of economic opportunity continues to shrink the population despite trends of overall county growth. Drugs and gun violence caused problems and continue to do so now (Crompton). Brenda Davis became mayor in 2011. She lost her position in the 2015 primary election to Scott Putnam. Citizens Library lost funding toward the Children's Department, creating a decrease in hours for that portion of the building. Larry Maggi is currently serving his third term as County Commissioner and also recently became the board chairman.

U.S. History 1990s - Present

     The U.S. population increased by 13.2% from 1990 to 2000, hitting 281,421,906 people. President Bill Clinton took office in 1993 and stayed there until 2001. During his time in office, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed to require employment in order to get government assistance. Congress also passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act which protected those in police custody who may have had their federal rights violated. America got involved in the middle east with the Gulf War and led Operation Desert Storm. Free trade opened with Canada and Mexico through the North American Free Trade Agreement. Technology began to be more popular among Americans with computers and mobile phones.

     George W. Bush became president in 2001(Presidents and Vice Presidents). In that same year, Muslim extremists from the terrorist group Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center buildings in New York. Two other planes crashed that day as well, one in the Pentagon and the other in a field in Somerset, PA. This led President Bush to declare a War on Terror and enact the Patriot Act. This act monitored many social and economic aspects of American life and infringed upon 1st Amendment rights to privacy. Bush also made huge tax cuts during his term. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana and created a huge amount of economic distress. American received its first African American president with the election of Barack Obama. That same year, the U.S. experienced an economic recession leading President Obama to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to stimulate jobs and economic growth.

     The population increases again to hit 308,745,538 in 2010. Also in 2010, the Affordable Care Act was made a law in order to improve the health care situation for all Americans. President Obama made a move to take American troops from the Middle East. Congress finally came up with a plan to balance out the economy with budget cuts and a decrease in the deficit. NSA employee Edward Snowden leaked info to the public and eventually fled to take refuge in Russia in 2013.

Politics and Religion

Many Scottish and Irish immigrants moved to Washington and brought with them their Catholic beliefs. In the 1990s, Washington PA leaned more towards Democrats, favoring Clinton over Dole (Washington, Pennsylvania) Over the years Washington has acquired a wide variety of churches including Baptist churches, Methodist churches,Catholic churches, Pentecostal and Assembly of God churches, Lutheran churches, and other Protestant and Catholic Christian churches (Church Finder).

Works Cited

  • http://www.wpial.org/wpialteamhistory.asp
  • https://k12.niche.com/washington-high-school-washington-pa/
  • Washington High School. Wash High 1993 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 1993, 1993
  • Washington High School. Wash High 1994 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 1994, 1994
  • https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/school_detail.asp?Search=1&InstName=Washington+High+School&City=Washington&State=42&Zip=15301&County=Washington+County &DistrictNameWashington&SchoolType=1&SchoolType=2&SchoolType=3&SchoolType=4&SpecificSchlTypes=all&IncGrade= -1&LoGrade=-1&HiGrade=-1&ID=422499004286
  • Washington High School. Wash High 2006 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 2006, 2006
  • Washington High School. Wash High 2007 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 2007, 2007
  • Washington High School. Wash High 2008 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 2008, 2008
  • Washington High School. Wash High 2009 Yearbook. Washington, PA: graduating class of 2009, 2009
  • http://www.bestplaces.net/religion/city/pennsylvania/washington "Religion in Washington, Pennsylvania." Religion in Washington, Pennsylvania. Web. 3 June 2015.
  • http://www.churchfinder.com/churches/pa/washington
  • "Washington, Pennsylvania." (PA 15301) Profile: Population, Maps, Real Estate, Averages, Homes, Statistics, Relocation, Travel, Jobs, Hospitals, Schools, Crime, Moving, Houses, News, Sex Offenders. Web. 2 June 2015..