Brantley Time Capsule: Visavachaipan
September 16, 2016
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In 2001 Kristine Visavachaipan, AP AB/BC calculus teacher, graduated from Lake Brantley. When Visavachaipan thinks back to her high school years, she remembers a school in transition. During that time Brantley had round buildings located where the courtyard is, and construction on the school started in her junior year. Also, Brantley was on block scheduling. The students would only take four classes a day, resulting in a total of eight classes each year. The school eventually removed block scheduling due to financial reasons.
“The campus changed right in front of my eyes,” Visavachaipan said. “We used to have to walk through a ‘cattle chute’ of chain link fencing so that we could get to our classes without walking through the construction.”
Lake Brantley still has many of the same rules from when Visavachaipan was a student, but with some exceptions. When she attended Brantley, final exam exemptions were allowed. If a student had an ‘A’ in the class, they were allowed to have three unexcused absences and be exempt from taking the final exam. A ‘B’ grade average would allow two unexcused absences and exemption from the final exam, while a ‘C’ grade average would allow one unexcused absence and exemption from the final exam. Seniors still participated in traditions like school pranks and leaving campus for lunch. Pep rallies had the same general concept, but there was only one pep rally per year. All the classes would battle over a spirit stick during the pep rally, with the loudest and most exited class winning the spirit stick.
“We used to have a tradition where the seniors could buy juniors for a day and then have them do crazy/silly things like bow to them or carry their stuff or sing in the lunchroom,” Visavachaipan said.
In 2006, Visavachaipan moved back to Altamonte Springs after teaching for a year in St. Petersburg. She contacted her old Pre Calculus/AP Calculus teacher, Phyllis Sprinkle, looking for math openings at Brantley. Since Visavachaipan had such a great experience as a student at Brantley, she was excited to come back and teach. Sprinkle had a major impact on her which now influences the way she teaches her current math class. For instance, Sprinkle placed the names of students who received a five on the AP exam on plaques, including Visavachaipan’s name, and she has continued that tradition.
“I like when Mrs. V teaches us math strategies she learned from Mrs. Sprinkle because she learned that way and it was successful for her,” junior Skylar Miller said. “She knows it will help us learn.”
During her high school years, Visavachaipan took mostly AP and honor classes and participated in volleyball, softball, yearbook, National Honor Society, English Honorary Society, and math competitions. Some of her teachers from when she was a student are currently still teaching. English teacher Tracy Fitzgerald taught her AP English Language and Composition and was her junior yearbook sponsor, English teacher Christine Adams was her senior yearbook sponsor, and science teacher Brian Keyes was AP Environmental Science. School Administration Manager Brian Shafer and Assistant Principal Mary beth Delfiacco were her softball coaches while science teacher Stan Cutler was her volleyball coach.
“I felt like I got a really well rounded education from Lake Brantley as a student,” Visavachaipan said. “I had the opportunity to pursue my interests in academics, athletics, and other extracurricular activities with a good group of peers.”