What Arrowhead was like in the 70’s, according to a former teacher
Frank Balistreri started teaching at Arrowhead 37 years ago in 1977. “I started teaching at Arrowhead in 1977, and it was way different. There were about 1,300 students here…and the crazy thing about that was I knew almost every student’s name” says retired English teacher Frank Balistreri.
Balistrari says In the 1970’s most students lived on farms, and Hartland consisted of mostly farm land and no subdivisions. Balistrari recalls students driving to school on their tractors, and using their knowledge of farming for speeches and presentations. “I had a girl do a demonstration speech once on how to butcher a live chicken. She did the speech outside, and she cut it’s head off and showed the class how to pluck the feathers” says Balistreri. “It was wilder in the 70’s” says Balistreri, “Everybody thinks kids are so wild and stuff today, but they were wilder in the 70’s. Kids used to get high in the building.
..kids would go into the computer lab, duck down under the desks, and smoke marijuana” says Balistreri. “I once caught a kid cleaning out his dope pipe in study hall. Thats how stoned the guy was..
..so many kids were smoking that my friend would hide outside with a telescope and look for smokers to turn in and expel. At one point my friend turned in so many kids that the office told him to stop because their were about 5 kids missing in every class. And a really crazy thing was, even the teachers had almost a war about smoking in the teachers lounge” says Balistrari. “In 1977, discipline was a lot different”, says Balistreri, “I actually saw the dean grab a kid by his shirt and through him out the front entrance.
..that kind of meant you were suspended. I also saw a gym teacher holding up a student against the wall, saying don’t pull that kind of thing again in my class”. “In the 70’s, I don’t remember anybody ever stressing about colleges. And guidance did not come into class rooms and give presentations to warn students about what they need to do to go to college” says Balistrari.
“There was a girl who was a 4.0 student she got into Princeton. But that was the kid herself…
students and kids did more things for themselves.” Balistreri also taught some brilliant students, such as Comedian Tim Hobert, Actor Mike Hobert, and famous author Christina Schwartz . Tim Hobert is known for his role as the executive producer of the TV show Scrubs, Spin City, and other comedy scripts. Tim’s brother Mike Hobart is known for his role in Scrubs, the movie Matters of Life and Death, and other comedies, dramas, and short films. Author, Christina Schwartz has been on Oprah’s Book Club for her novel Drowning Ruth, and has published multiple high selling books. “Tim Hobert was a brilliant student here, and he wanted to be a comedy writer” says Balistrari.
Balastary says Tim got his start in comedy and script writing skiing in Colorado. Tim had been teaching a kid to ski, and he met the kids dad. Tim wanted to be a comedian, so he told the guy some of his stand up routine. “The guy said to Tim, “Boy, you’re really funny. I want you to go to New York after Ski season, and go to this address”.
And after ski season, Tim went the address in NY, and met a producer in the process of writing a show called Spin City. The producer provided a house for Tim and several writers to live in, and they wrote Spin City. Thats how Tim got his start.