Student Doormen: The Beloved HSAS Tradition

Amelia Ostrow, Grade 12, Journalism Student

All students at the High School of American Studies have come back from lunch and had the door held open for them. Common Sense investigates this HSAS tradition.


Even for a school as young as ours, the tradition may not be as time-honored as one might believe. The first doorman at the school was Reuben Pulatov [‘19]. “That became his thing,” Mr. Evans said about the founding of this tradition. “I think he did it a couple of times and saw that he got a reaction and just kind of went with it.”


What started with Reuben holding the door open on the way back from lunch one day eventually grew into a full-fledged operation. Every student knew Reuben and would greet him on the way into the school.


The door-holding became iconic, and Reuben even made a joke about it during his comedy routine in the December 2018 Talent Show, exclaiming that he held the door open for four years and the only thing he received in return was his senior sweatshirt, which read “Doorman.”


Reuben continued to be the only doorman until he graduated in June 2019, whereupon Emilio Daba-ay [‘20], who was trained to hold the door by Reuben Pulatov himself, took over the responsibility.


Emilio expanded the door-holding business. He enlisted classmate Shakir Hossain [‘20] to hold the inner door in the vestibule open and convinced some underclassmen to take over the duties during fourth period lunch.


Whenever he could, Emilio held the outer door to the school open to welcome the upperclassmen back to school during fifth period lunch, and he added the advertising aspect of the job — if you gave him an ad, he would display it while letting everyone into the school. “Well, it was fun to make people laugh with my antics while holding the door (but also equally fun to make 42 pennies in advertising revenue),” Daba-ay reminisced.


The HSAS community has accepted the doorman tradition wholeheartedly, in no small part due to how it embodies our welcoming and warm school community. “Even though it may be quirky, you are always welcomed in!” said Zoe Markman [‘20]. 


“The doorman is the face of HSAS––a true pillar of the community,” added Emily Kabat [‘20]. 


The future of this tradition is somewhat uncertain; Emilio and Shakir are both graduating, and next year’s doorman has not been named. “The seniors had some committed individuals who decided to continue this tradition, but I don’t know if any of the juniors will step up and continue this much-needed responsibility,” said Leo Vergani (‘21). “Hopefully this article will convince them to.”

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