Penguins Reunited

by Chad Eric Smith, Class of 2004

Since its founding in 1971, School Without Walls High School (SWWHS) has gained prestige as a rigorous college preparatory program that challenges students to think critically, creatively, and curiously. As an alternative to conventional instruction, SWWHS has historically taken pride in its students’ license to use the city as a classroom, ensuring they enter young adulthood with the capacity to follow their dreams and succeed with confidence and independence. Over the past 45 years, thousands of SWWHS alumni have put their mark on a wide variety of industries. Unfortunately, many of their achievements are unknown because a consistent, active Alumni Association that keeps alumni connected to each other and their beloved alma mater does not exist.

Recently, I met with Principal Richard Trogisch, Associate Principal Sylvia Isaac and Home & School Association member David Brewer to discuss the formation of an official and enduring SWWHS Alumni Association. The mission of the SWWHS Alumni Association would be to preserve and promote fellowship among present and future alumni, as well as support and strengthen the school’s mission for the benefit of its current students.

The goals of the SWW Alumni Association are to:

  • Positively promote and support the academics, extra-curricular programs, and spirit of School Without Walls High
  • Strengthen the bonds between past, present, and future, School Without Walls High graduates
  • Develop a comprehensive database of all alumni
  • Develop a website with an online newsletter regarding significant events in the lives of alumni and the present SWWHS community
  • Assist with the planning and organization of reunions
  • Develop, coordinate, and maintain a School Without Walls High School Hall of Fame
  • Provide undergraduate scholarships
  • Provide an online network for career job placement and internships for School Without Walls alumni.

As a proud alumnus, I would love to see this come into fruition and I’m positive other alumni feel the same way. In January 2017, there will be a gathering of alumni to discuss how we would like to move forward. If you are interested in participating in this meeting, please email me at and I will give you further details.

Thank You,

Chad Eric Smith