Could you imagine being at Seattle Prep in 1985 – before cell phones, Netflix, or the Prep parking garage? Mrs. Boyle sure can! Mrs. Boyle has worked at Prep for over 36 years, starting at the school in 1985. Mrs. Boyle has seen an amazing transformation during her three decades at Prep including changes to the curriculum, campus, technology, and in the counseling department.
In the 1980s student life was drastically different than it is today. The senior class was a fraction of the size as it is in 2022. Most students went through the Matteo Ricci Program, where they attended Seattle Prep for three years and Seattle University for three years. In addition, student schedules at Seattle Prep have morphed over time. In the 80s and 90s, the students had 7 subjects a day with no rotating schedule. “There were 3 lunch periods so students might go through the whole day without seeing their friends if they had different classes and lunch times. If friends were not in the same Collegio class, that usually meant they were not going to see their friends till after school. That was hard for students. Even with 65 students and 3 teachers in each Collegio, you might not have any close friends in any of your classes.” Mrs. Boyle stated.
The most significant impact from the mid-1980s to the 2020s has been the advancement of technology. When Mrs. Boyle started at Seattle Prep there weren’t cell phones, computers were rare (and expensive), and people had to talk face to face or, on their family phone, in order to communicate. The lack of technology made life less complicated and, there seemed to be less stress. “The absence of technology as we know it makes me remember the 1980’s as a much calmer time in our world”, she stated, “Without social media, there was much less pressure and stress that students had to face on a daily basis”.
Mrs. Boyle knows intimately how technology has affected students, because of her long tenure as a Prep counselor. Back in the 80s and 90s, the offices were not as nice or inviting and the counselors weren’t involved with students as much as they are today. There wasn’t a counseling center, it was hard to make appointments, and the offices weren’t very private. Mrs. Boyle talked about how the changes to Prep counseling over the years have been extremely positive, “Prep counseling is really accessible now, we have a nice facility, individual counseling offices, and we have rooms to offer people who are stressed and want quiet.” The counseling department has grown its programming by offering Forefront training (a suicide prevention program), One Love classes (program to prevent sexual violence), advising the Every Mind Matters Club, offering wellness classes and one-to-one counseling sessions with students.
Mrs. Boyle has seen significant transformation at Seattle Prep over her 36 years at the school. Even though the school has changed so much, Mrs. Boyle continues to embrace the school community and she maintains her love for the students, her staff, and the mission of Seattle Prep. “…I love the Prep community and the many ways counselors here can help students with their academic, social and emotional needs. Students today are blessed with more support than they were in the 80’s and 90’s. There are more counselors and a welcoming counseling center with many comfortable offices to relax, talk and feel heard. Although we are living in a very stressful time with the world’s COVID virus and its variants, it is good to know you have a place to go when you need someone to talk to.”