Have you ever wondered how different Norwalk High and Brien McMahon are? To gain some insight, I interviewed one of the social workers at Brien McMahon, Mr. Matute, who has worked at both Norwalk High and Brien McMahon. He’s been working in Norwalk public schools for over 20 years now.
When asked about which school Matute prefers working at, he responded with McMahon. “I like working at both schools but I enjoy my time at McMahon because I’m more familiar with the staff and being a track coach here adds a plus. Furthermore, I am a McMahon graduate,” he said.
Matute went on to offer information regarding the resources that both schools give to the students. He says that he believes McMahon offers more to students, especially in terms of technology. “Students are given a chromebook their freshman year and are able to take it home for school-related work for all 4 years.”
Another thing to compare between the two schools is the counseling system. Matute shares, “At McMahon, school counselors can be found in the same office, with every grade having more than 3 counselors. Unlike BMHS, Norwalk High students only get 2 counselors per grade and they’re harder to find since they’re not all together. For example, depending on your grade, your counselor is put into houses, like House A or House D.”
One more important comparison between the two schools is the programs they offer. Brien McMahon offers the Center for Global Studies (C.G.S), a program that contains about 290 students. Students choose to learn Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese. Additionally, students travel on 2 week study tours to gain a better understanding of the world. CGS students come from all over Fairfield County; Darien, Ridgefield, Fairfield, Bridgeport, Stamford and more.
Where McMahon offers CGS, Norwalk High offers the the P-Tech Program, formerly known as N.E.C.A. P-Tech is an early college-experience high school from grades 9-12. Within the 4-year span, students graduate high school with a diploma with a no-cost associates degree in a competitive STEM discipline. Even more, International Business Machines (I.B.M) has partnered with nine P-Tech schools, six in the United States, one of which is NECA, three abroad in Australia, Morocco and Taiwan.
The rivalry between Norwalk High Bears and Brien McMahon Senators has been a conflict for a long time. However, it doesn’t always come down to what football or soccer team is better than the other, but what the schools can offer students to prepare them for the future.