Well, the original plan was for 7 quizzes of 5 questions each so that we would have a question for each of Seton’s 35 years.  However, that’s not how it is going to be.  Our final quiz is much different.  Instead of multiple choice it’s matching.  We’re going to match what some area of the school is currently (though my “current” is three years old, so some things may be different, but I am sure someone will inform us of any change) with what it once was.  I don’t know how to set this up, so what I am going to do is just list the current, and then list the used-to-be’s after them for you to match up.

   1.  Sacristy/Confessional;    2.  Bethlehem;   3.  boys lockers hallway between St. Joseph’s Wing and Old Building;    4.  Boiler Room;    5.  Cedar Cross;   6.  John Paul II Center;    7.  Weight Room;     8.  Mrs. O’Herron’s office;   9.  Teachers’ Room;   10.  Somewhere above the parking lot/driveway in front of the Old Building

A.  Volleyball Standard;   B.  Stage;   C.  Ditto Machine’s home;    D.  gravel parking lot, chinning bars and dumpster;   E.  home school office;    F.  biology lab;   G.  2 junior high classrooms;    H.  disciplinarian’s office;    I.  Typing room/ Advanced Math and Science Room;    J.  never anything else


1.      E.  What is now the sacristy/confessional was the humble beginnings of Seton Home School.  Mrs. Seelbach was the secretary and worked many hours there.  The original director was Mrs. Smyth, followed by Mr. Vander Woude until Mary Kay Clark took it over and eventually made it independent from Seton and moved it to Front Royal.  That same office was used by the Tae Kwan Do man who was most famous for his sign that read “Slef Defense”.  The office was transformed into a very nice little sacristy and confessional.  Above the penitent side of the  confessional is an attic space for storage.  Since no priest ever gave “Clean the attic space above this confessional” as a penance, the COOL Club took on the job once. 

2.      B.   Bethlehem, which is a copier room, book storage area and Mrs. Parriott’s work area, once was a stage where the 1st two musicals were performed along with many other plays and events in the history of Seton.  When the stage area was being fixed up by Mr. Buser and his sons, they discovered the pool size baptismal area of the Assembly of God Church which originally owned the building and still has its corner stone there.  The area was named Bethlehem by Mrs. Warrick. 

3.      H.  It might be hard to imagine a hallway once being an office, but that is what the current boys locker area was.  Mr. Scheetz, Mr. Donahue and Mr. Sullivan all used that office.  As a hallway it was a huge bottleneck before the Corpus Christi building was built.  I was always amazed by the patience of the students in that area during rush hour traffic between classes.  Almost every space has a name at Seton – maybe that one should be called Discipline Way. 

4.      J.   The boiler room has never been anything other than what it is, though it has changed its look a little.  There used to be a door in the back of it that led to the back parking lot.  There was a crummy, little metal shed on the left as one exited.  I think the wind eventually blew it over.  When the new wing was built on, the door was sealed and that “breathing” vent, which scared me many a dark night, installed.  Since the old disciplinarian office became a hallway, Mr. Pennefather sometimes used the boiler room as his office.  I think it was for Y2K prep that trail mix snacks and bottled water were stored in there.  As that fear went away, various people (including me) would help themselves to the snacks until they were all consumed.  A new, more efficient boiler was installed a couple years ago. 

5.      A.  The cedar cross, hewn by Mr. McCullough, used to be a cedar tree, and one end of the volleyball net was tied to it.  VB practice was held on the rocky parking lot.  I best remember those practices for Deirdre Brien saying everyone was out for VB just for the social aspect.  The practices did promote socializing and they were fun, but it was a little better for the knees when we moved inside to the carpeted gym despite the low ceiling – lower than the sky, but also low in general. 

6.      D.   Where the JPII Center (new gym) now stands was once the gravel parking lot.  There wasn’t much to the parking lot except for the dumpster and the chinning bars.  Students would park their cars right by the fence next to Ames Funeral Home, leaving lots of space for football and other recreation.  What is now the senior parking lot used to be the faculty parking lot.  The scariest time for me in that parking lot was the night I got into my car after leaving the windows down and a cat jumped up from the floor making whatever noise a cat makes in such circumstance.  I screamed.

7.      F.  The weight room used to be the biology lab.  I have no stories about either, though the original weight room was the house across the street (now lawn in front of the Corpus Christi building).  Mr. Heisler led the weightlifters then and still does as far as I know.  That same house was once the Foeckler’s home.  I do not know if they ever lifted weights while living there.

8.      I.   Mrs. O’Herron, who works as a counselor and in guidance, uses the little room known as the Cenacle (the Upper Room).  This room used to look out over the old carpeted gym with the permanent backboard partially blocking the view.  It was 1st used as a typing and newspaper room.  Then Mrs.Von Reyn took it over and got heat and air conditioning to it and made it the AMS Room.  She also taught girls’ life skills there. In the far end of the room was a crawl-in closet, and within this was an attic door that opened into the vast space that ran the length of the gym.  The only thing I remember storing up there were old trophies.  In the lobby all those trophies are 1st place ones, so non-first place ones got stuffed up in an attic.  The Dutch doors through which one entered the Cenacle are a quaint aspect of this room. 

9.      C.  The teachers’ room has never been anything other than that, but it’s historical significance is tied to its housing the ditto machine – the producer of purple printed tests for many years.  For a time it was the only way to copy tests.  Eventually, technology took over and Rizzoing and Xeroxing left the ditto machine exclusively to my use.  We had two different ditto machines over the years.  The first one was replaced by one we got at the Prince William County School auction.  It was a superior model, but something happened to it when it got moved about four years ago and it never worked quite right after that.  Maybe at Seton’s 50th anniversary we will bring it out for all to see and even touch.  Mr. P. remodeled the teachers’ room putting in new cabinets, stove and sink.  Previously, Mr. Scheetz added doors to the shelving along the windows.  The little crawl space was ordered sealed up by the fire marshal.  The round table in the teachers’ room came from a garage sale for $5.  No matter what improvements have been made over the years, the room always seemed to be a mess. 

10.  G.  The old cafeteria building had an upstairs of two classrooms which were used for the junior high.  They were great little classrooms and added more character to that building.  The only class I ever taught up there was junior high grammar.  Janet Purdy was in that class and as a 6th or 7th grader and she knew more grammar than I did.  


Lots of changes over the years, but Seton remains Seton at its heart.  I have really enjoyed thinking back over the past 35 years with these little quizzes.  One thing I did as I was reminiscing was to write down all the marriages I could think of in which both husband and wife are graduates of Seton.  I was hoping I could come up with 35, but I only got to 25, though I am sure I am missing some, maybe even 10.