David Kahn, Central Archivist/Historian

One of the first things David Kahn (220) remembers about coming to Central High School in the 9th grade was being handed the Barnwell Handbook. “We all learned about the school very quickly from that handbook. We studied that book and learned about the history of Central and the rules of conduct,” said Kahn. Little did Kahn know at the time that decades later he would be overseeing the school’s archives that hold material that dates back to the early 1800s. Kahn is now Central’s Archivist/Historian after landing on the Board of Managers in 1998 and serving as secretary, vice president and president of the AACHS. You may remember seeing his Thanksgiving Day video when there was no Central-Northeast football game.

The archives weave a story of the development of education in Philadelphia and the example that it set for the country. “It shows a history of the opportunity given to students of various economic and racial backgrounds to go on and develop and become leaders in the city in municipal government, business, medicine, law and as artists and musicians. Central is a parallel to the history of Philadelphia and its development in every way,” said Kahn.

“I think Central prepared us in a way that college didn’t. Pretty much anybody I know from our era and even current eras will tell you that the memories from Central are far more meaningful and important and far different than their college and post graduate experiences were,” said Kahn.

Why should alumni support Central? “My message to alumni is to pay it forward. Those who came before us provided for us and we are here to give to the students of today and of tomorrow and to continue this process and the message that they will come back when it’s their time,” said Kahn.

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This is the third email in a series introducing the executive committee to our alumni.

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