School gets indoor make-over

Olouwatobi Noukpozounkou, Section Editor


As students returned to school after being completely online for a quarter, they were greeted by changes in teachers, staff, and the building.

Since the beginning of principal Rony Ortega’s career at Bryan, he saw that the school needed change, so he started a branding committee, and had a brand book, which explains how to use and not use the school’s logo and colors, made. 

“I meet with students, parents and staff, and the common message I heard was that they wanted more school pride,” Ortega said. “When I meet with student council, they mentioned specific things like we want water fountains that work, and I was appalled that we had water fountain’s that didn’t work.” 

The updates include: a new marquee sign on the corner of 48th and Giles Streets, new football stadium sign, new hydration station, new vinyl wraps, new athletic boards, new ceiling tiles, new LED lights, new access points, updated display cases, a history wall, senior courtyard and a new ozone garden by the front entrance.

“I want us to have professional clean and polished image,” Ortega. “That is the image we are going for, a futuristic kind of feel. We don’t want to be stuck in 1965, but we want to honor it.”

On Sept. 22, seniors were able to go to the school and take the ACT, which they should’ve taken the year before but were not able to due to COVID-19. They were the first out of the grades to see the changes to the building. 

“There was a lot of Bear imagery,” senior Joana Castillo. “There was “We Are Bryan” or “Bear Pride” on the widows and it’s pretty cool because I haven’t seen any other school have that. It makes our school standout.” 

 The building changes are not the only new things that happened and were added over the summer. The school welcomed several new teachers, most of them to replace retirees or and teachers who decided to leave the school or profession.

One of the new teachers at the school is ESL teacher Molly Gass. She is not new to Bear Country though; she used to work at Bryan Middle but ended up moving. She decided to come back but switched it up and returned to the high school instead. When she saw all the changes that were made to the high school she was surprised.

“I love the new banners that they have on some of the windows,” Gass said. “I think the addition of the other gym is very helpful. A lot of good up to date things that I hope the students enjoy.”

The only new position added was a freshman lead teacher. Emily Anderson, who was a full-time family consumer science teacher last year, was awarded the position. She will work with ninth-grade teachers and students to improve ninth grade out comes.

What we’re trying do at Bryan is improve our school, one freshman class at a time,” Ortega said. “We believe if we can improve the support of our ninth graders we can improve our graduation rate four years later, we don’t want to do is to ignore freshman and they become juniors and seniors who have very few credits.”