Walking with Wallingford

Ms. Wallingford playing field hockey when she was in high school | provided by Wallingford

Ms. Wallingford playing field hockey when she was in high school | provided by Wallingford

Yasmim Bicalho, Staff Writer

Books pile in the classroom, notebooks span the counter, her field hockey team photos adorn her walls. This is the way Jennifer Wallingford organizes her classroom, in the same manner, she has since 1999.

A 1994 graduate of Hudson High, Wallingford is right at home here as one of our English teachers, as well as the head field hockey coach, and Writing Center advisor. 

As ‘90s fashion, music, and TV trend now in 2022, The Big Red, sat down with Wallingford to get a look into what it was like being a student during a decade that brought us Snoop, flannel, the internet, platform sandals, and the heyday of MTV.

During high school, Wallingford was very involved with clubs and sports. “I played field hockey and basketball all fours years when I was in high school” 

During the football games rallies as well in her senior year, Wallingford was the Hawk, Hudson High School’s mascot. When the Thanksgiving Day rally happened, “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses blared over the speakers while she flew on a zip-line in the gym. 

Unfortunately, there were not many that had cameras or phones with them at the time, so there are no pictures or videos of the event. 

With two popular styles of music during the 90s, grunge, and hip-hop, students would turn on their Cassette Tapes or even MP3 Players, but Wallignord had her way. 

“I was in the middle of amassing a pretty big CD collection” 

In that collection, she would have a big variety of artists involved, from Pearl Jam to Snoop Dogg to Beastie Boys and more 

Style has always stuck out to teens for a long time now, and the 90s is taking over what we wear now, such as flannels, ringer tees, and boot-cut or flared jeans. 

“Everything was very oversized, except that baby tees under strappy floral dresses were a thing,” said Wallingford 

Yearbook picture of Ms. Wallingford’s first year of teaching| provided by the HHS yearbook

We’ve been wearing college merchandise for a while now, as Wallingford remembers, there would be white baseball hats with college names printed on the material. 

Unlike now in 2022, where most of the population relies on texting when it comes to communication, Wallingford and her friends would memorize numbers to call each other on the phone on landlines.

“You called, and when a parent or sibling answered, sometimes you spoke to them for a while.”

Wallingford majored in English at Smith College and earned a master’s in writing at the University of New Hampshire. She then came back to Hudson High as a teacher and a field hockey coach in 1999.

“That’s when a lot of my teachers were still here in the building, that’s not the case anymore,” said Wallingford, since she has been teaching for 23 years, she is now one of the older staff members here at Hudson High School. 

Here at Hudson High, many students have attended since 1867, indifferent and smaller buildings, and with fewer students. 

Wallingford always thought she would teach in the English department. However, If she was not a teacher at HHS, she would still be involved with reading and writing. “I’ve just been doing this for so long it’s sort of where I am.” 

When asked about Menanson, Wallingford’s smiled with her eyes as she told me how smart her English teacher was.

“I had great English teachers, my senior year English teacher Suzan Menanson was my AP literature teacher, she taught me a lot about writing,” said Wallingford. 

 She became inspired by Ms. Menanson because of how smart and enthusiastic she was about reading. Especially how she remembered every single thing she read. Unfortunately, She passed away a few years ago, and Hudson High School’s library is now named after her in dedication.

“She was just so smart and read so much.”

 “I’m used to my life and my work life overlapping like that’s always been the case for me” that helped her get ready to run into her husband, daughter, nieces, and nephews in the building, without getting uncomfortable, or startled in any way. 

In Wallingford’s opinion, the staff at Hudson High are excellent, “I think anyone who put forward a good effort, and takes in the education that their teachers are offering is going to get a really good education.” 

She believes that Hudson High is a good influence, and anyone who graduates here could be very successful if they put their mind to it. 

Our community is very supportive “Staff and students going out to support each other at different events in ways that make me happy” going to games, or even going to a play.