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These two pictures, featuring Central High School’s classes of 1931 and 2013, were taken in Mount Vernon, Va. more than 80 years apart.
School News
’13 Central grads recreate ’31 photo
Courtesy Syntax
Art Teacher Mario Bakolov presented the picture to Board of Education Vice President Elise Antonelli on Dec. 11. They were joined by Central senior Rida Javaid and Principal Dr. Joseph Pompilio.

Valley Stream Central High School first opened its doors in September 1929 with an enrollment of nearly 300 students. Since then, thousands of teenagers have walked through its hallways and graduated from Valley Stream’s first high school.

On a recent trip to Washington D.C., Central students paid tribute to the class of 1931 by recreating a picture that was taken outside of Mount Vernon, President George Washington’s former home, more than 80 years ago.

The original photograph found its way to Central three years ago when the grandson of a member of the class of 1931, while cleaning out his recently deceased grandfather’s attic, came across it. The grandson then sent the picture to Central Principal Dr. Joseph Pompilio.

“All the students looked older than they were,” Pompilio said of the photo. “They looked like they were in their 30s and 40s instead of 18.” He noted that the photo was kept in excellent condition.

The photo was then displayed in Central for all to see and it caught the eye of art teacher Mario Bakolov.

Each year, students in Jack Gorman’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government classes take a trip to Washington D.C. to gain a better understanding of the nation’s history. Bakolov, who has been a teacher at Central for nine years, has been a chaperone on the trip for the last five years.

In planning this year’s trip, it was decided that the group would tour Mount Vernon, located a few miles outside the nation’s capital in Virginia. Bakolov realized the class of 1931’s photo was taken on the Mount Vernon premises and thought it would be fun to recreate the image with the class of 2013.

Bakolov first brought the idea to Gorman and then to Pompilio; both were quickly on board with the idea. “I really like traditions,” Bakolov said, “and to have this thing that happened more than 80 years ago and to be able to be at the same spot, doing the same things with a graduating class was a cool piece of history, especially considering how long the school’s been around.”


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