Exploring the City With the Cleveland Club


“It’s always nice to go up to the top of the market and look down,” senior Simone Rackmill said. Photo courtesy of Greg Deegan.

Social studies teacher Greg Deegan and the Cleveland club traveled downtown on Friday, Oct. 30. The plan was to go to the Flats East Bank, but Cleveland’s weather did not cooperate.

Due to rain, the club adjusted and went to the West Side Market instead. The students toured the market and bought snacks, making the best of the situation.

“It’s always nice to go up to the top of the market and look down,” said senior Simone Rackmill, who helped to organize the trip.

Because the market was closing, vendors had lowered prices and club members bought a big bag of fruit at a discount.

Scott Janovitz and Jessica Friedman, 2012 grads, founded the Cleveland Club during their senior year with the objective of helping students discover and appreciate more about Cleveland.

“[Janovitz and Friedman] approached me because they knew of my passion for the city, and I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to connect BHS students to Cleveland,” Deegan said.

The club is really supposed to be about what the students want. They select the places we visit.”

— Cleveland Club Advisor Greg Deegan

Deegan takes club members on after-school field trips once a month.

Deegan fell in love with the city in high school, during his daily trips from Lyndhurst to St. Ignatius High School. He is happy to share his knowledge and love of Cleveland with students to help them make their own deep connections with the city

“The club is really supposed to be about what the students want,” he said. “They select the places we visit.”

The club has visited a variety of places, including museums, coffee shops and areas like Public Square and East Fourth. Students have also explored historical places, including the West Side Market, Terminal Tower and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

This year, Rackmill is helping organize trips along with junior Daniel Mishins. Rackmill joined the CLE Club in her freshman year and has enjoyed her experience as a member.

“You get to go out into the city and actually see what’s being talked about,” she said.

Rackmill’s favorite trip so far was to University Circle. She is also excited to go to Little Italy with the club.

Over the years, club members have shown serious commitment to touring the city in spite of weather conditions.

In Feb. 2013, a cold snowstorm hit Cleveland, but CLE Club members persevered through the weather and made their way to the Museum of Contemporary Art. After touring the museum with its temporary exhibitions, they went outside to take pictures.

The Cleveland Club has several new members this year, including sophomore Sreyas Pillai, who is a new student at BHS. He joined the CLE club because he is new to Cleveland, having recently moved here from China, and wanted to learn more about the area.

“Since I am new to Cleveland, I don’t want to miss an opportunity like this,” Pillai said. “It will also be fun to meet new people during field trips.”

He is interested in visiting sights such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Most of all, he hopes to find out more about Cleveland and its history.

“I am looking forward to meeting students who share common interests with me,” he said. “Also, if there is a special occasion that I would like to celebrate with my family, I could take my family to see different places around Cleveland that I have already seen with the club.”

“If you want to join then go on one trip and you’ll be hooked,” Rackmill said.

The club is planning to try again with a visit to the Flats next month.

Interested students should get a permission slip from Deegan’s room (161) to attend the next trip. On the day of the trip, the club gathers after school in the atrium at the front of the school.