From Serafino to DeMarino: Everything you should remember about the International EC Era

Cecelia Messbauer, Copy Editor

Five years ago, The MacDuffie School was sold. Its identity as a non-profit institution ended, and it became inseparable from the brand of International EC, LLC.  It was, by any measure, the most shocking shift the school had experienced in recent memory.

Less than six months later, as the school prepared for its move to Granby, the campus was hit squarely by a tornado that tore through downtown Springfield. There was, apparently, no going back.

Fast forward to the present, and we find that our first chapter of for-profit education has come to an end. International EC has passed the torch to MMI, but in commemoration of our original corporate overlords (in all seriousness, thanks for the lifeline), it is only fitting to take a sentimental look back at the inaugural era of Post June 2011 MacDuffie.

An old monastery was converted into a school so secular the second verse of Summer Suns was done away with. MacDuffie Springfield became MacDuffie Granby, One Ames Hill Drive giving way to 66 School Street,  still in Old New England but a notable distance from any of Connecticut’s allegedly fair shores.  

Brian Chatterley came and went. Steven Griffin came and stayed. Wayne Brewer, the new man upstairs, sent a brave new generation of MacDuffie seniors into the world with the inspirational words of Steven Tyler.

 There were concerns, in the early days, about the new campus’s lack of an auditorium. What would the theater department do? How would we hold assemblies? Eight MacDuffie Theater productions and several hundred assemblies in the gym later, and we still need an auditorium (Coming Fall 2018, of course, maybe).

Largely baseless fears of getting mugged in the city were swapped for the very rational fear of being attacked by a bear in the woods. A local ice cream shop became a bustling center of international commerce.

The Unicorn changed its name. The Magnet doesn’t have the heart to make fun of it anymore. Submit to The Muse, everyone!

In embracing our new found orientation towards powerful corporations, Google ousted First Class as our communication control board. Wifi was occupied.

We lost some day students when we moved to the middle of nowhere. We bussed some survivors to school with King Ward.  It’s a yellow school bus now.

We hold our graduations in a different church. We hold academic convocation in September. The Spring Musical is now the Winter Musical, and no one really knows what Winter Carnival is anymore. To put it in newspaper cliche, The Times They Are A’ Changin’.

Four years ago there was an outbreak of nostalgia for the old MacDuffie, famously facilitated by that year’s Magnet, led by the first-ever graduating class to see the new MacDuffie. Things have settled down since then, but this year’s Magnet gives fair warning to our readers and our new private sector partners: next year’s graduating class will contain a handful of seven-year seniors, the last students to attend, as sixth graders, the old MacDuffie. One Ames Hill Drive is primed for one last run of sentimental glory like nothing ever seen before.

MacDuffie is dead, long live MacDuffie.