Clubs provide connection

    The Historical Film society club, advised by Geology teacher Kristin Gerhardt, meets every Friday after school in portable 10.   

Gerhardt says the club allows students to do things outside of the academic world.   

“You can relax in a club setting, in a way that you maybe can’t relax in a class,” Gerhardt said. “I also think clubs are a great way for [students] to meet new people, potentially new friends.”   

The club was intended to be more focused on historical movies and has now switched to a wider variety of movies, according to Gerhardt. Over time it became a movie club. While students are watching movies, they still learn from them, but it’s not an academic type of learning.   

“[Movies] definitely let us escape from our lives for a little bit. I love movies. I think they are wonderful things. I wanted kids to have fun and learn something,” Gerhardt said. “Our club, as you can see from the name, started out a little more academically inclined, it started as a historical film society. It has turned into a movie club. And I’m pretty okay with that. Because again, I want you guys to come here and have fun and learn something.”  

Although students get to pick the movies they watch, Gerhardt said there are limitations on what can be watched. 

“You have to be in the room obviously. And horror is not my favorite genre in fact, and mostly it’s an action horror movie I can tolerate like aliens. You know, stuff like that, if any,” Gerhardt said.  


Another club, run by English teacher Gayle Franks, provides members with a sense of community. Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) meets on the first and third Wednesday of the month in room 206 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

According to Franks, the club gives students a place to go and make friends.  

“[It allows them] to join in and to feel welcomed,” Franks said. “That sense of security of being welcomed in a place is something that I think in today’s society in social media were very lacking.”   

Franks said that the club was created because, at the time, PHS was a harsh environment for LGBTQ+ students.   

“[Students] didn’t have a place to go and they were being bullied and harassed,” Franks said.  

The club provides a place for students to feel safe around people who are like them.  

“[In the club] they might be transgender, they could be genderfluid, they could be bisexual, they could be gay, they could be lesbian and there are people there that have those same experiences.”