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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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Robinson Reopens to the Community

On Friday, Sept. 8, Robinson was opened to the community, parents, and alumni to tour the new school.

Since its founding in 1958, Robinson has been the center of its community. After all, high school is where many have some of the best times of their lives. So, with a fully renovated school, and very little of the original buildings remaining, Robinson opened its doors to its community on Friday, Sept. 8. 

Community members listen to their SGA tour guide outside of the new courtyard.

“The purpose of this event was for the community that has been watching our school go through remodeling for the past 18 months to two years to come in and see what the construction was all about,” Principal David Brown said. “I invited the community, the people who live around here even if they don’t necessarily have kids here, but also to the alumni because I think it’s important for them to see ‘hey, how’s my school changed and what are some of the things that they’ve done?’”

Alumni, community members and parents flocked to the school to see the product of the 18 months of construction. 

“It’s fascinating to see the growth and the expansion of opportunities for the children who’ve come aboard now. I love it,” said Frank Deier (’63), a retired marine and postman, while taking an SGA-led tour of the school. 

Many alumni, like Deier, enjoyed seeing the new school and saw many improvements, however, not everyone saw the changes Robinson has undergone as a good thing. 

“I’ve been back a few times, and I was upset when they tore the old one [school] down and they didn’t preserve a lot of stuff,” said Randy Barrett (’75), while touring the main office. “It’s like the senior seal. For one, they’re misrepresenting what they’ve gotten written on it; it says ‘restored by the class of ’94’ where it’s actually replaced with theirs [the class of ’94 seal].”

In addition to more superficial and nostalgic changes like the senior seal or the removal of the catwalk, Barrett also expressed concerns regarding the lack of vocational training. 

“I understand they’ve got a culinary school now, but that’s only helping one specific group,” he said. “What if your interests are elsewhere?”

Even though there was some dissatisfaction in the improvements to the school, parents of current students seem to be very satisfied with the changes. 

SGA President Maddy Berg and SGA member Monisha Natarajan Ambika (’26) lead a tour of community members in the new art room.

“It’s [the new school] excellent. My son, Leyton, he’s a senior, so he’ll get to experience this [the new school], and what’s even more exciting is for all the students to come,” said Shane Perkey, a proud Robinson parent. “My daughter is in eighth grade and we hope that she’s going to come to Robinson next year, and this is one of those things that is going to be very attractive when she makes her decision about where she goes to school.”

Even though the Open House was mainly targeted towards the community, many students realized the importance of such an event. 

“Robinson is such an important part of the South Tampa community and it’s important that we share its milestones,” said Maddy Berg (’24), Executive President of SGA, who volunteered as a tour guide for alumni during the Open House. “I feel like the event really served to connect the Robinson community, whether you’re an alumni, student, or parent.”

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About the Contributor
Vikram Sambasivan
Vikram Sambasivan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Vikram Sambasivan is a senior at Robinson and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Knight Writers. This is his third year on staff and his third year as an editor. A passionate storyteller, Sambasivan's writing varies across a variety of sections, but he finds his comfort most in news stories, where he delves mostly into current events. "My favorite is perhaps news writing. Some may say it’s plain, and a bit boring, but I find the simplicity to be elegant and a reprieve from the frilly writing that is sometimes preferred in a typical high school English class," Sambasivan said. Outside of the journalism room, you can see Sambasivan serving as the president of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, rowing down the Hillsborough River for Team Tampa or even conducting research at the Clean Energy Research Center at the University of South Florida. Despite his demanding schedule, Sambasivan likes to wind down and relax by indulging in a number of movies or TV shows. "Rowing is probably tied with tennis as my favorite activity (although it’s not as fun to watch).  The feeling of the cool morning breeze on your face while rowing in the calm, quiet waters isn’t something I’ll soon forget," Sambasivan said. "Watching TV and movies are some of the other things I enjoy. My favorite show changes every day depending on how I’m feeling. Most movies that I watch speak to a different part of me, so I don’t think I could choose a favorite." Sambasivan has set multiple goals for this year's staff. He is looking forward to being in charge and being able to recreate the fun experience of journalism for new staff members. His biggest goal, though, is to be able to help everyone reach their greatest potential by making them stronger writers. "I would like to make them better than me. That’s the hallmark of a good teacher: having your students exceed you. If I can create an environment where people are excited to come in and produce content every day, where they are excited to learn, then I will be happy," Sambasivan added. Although his future is unclear at the moment, Sambasivan hopes to be able to combine his love for STEM and journalism in his future career. "I’m a little sad to be leaving high school. I’ll miss the friends and connections which I have made once I go to college, but this year, for me, is mainly about the future," Sambasivan said. (Profile by Cecilia Cheng)
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