Class of 2015 explores high school


Link members stand to sing the St. Francis High School song at Freshman Orientation. Freshmen were taught the words and encouraged to sing along.

Kelsi Novitsky, Editor-in-Chief

St. Francis High School was packed with new faces and a sea of blue Link T-shirts as the class of 2015 hovered together nervously, reconnecting with friends, and exploring the high school while Link members darted back and forth, offering assistance to new students at Freshman Orientation on Tuesday, October 30. Freshman Orientation made the transformation from an open house to an orientation four years ago.
Orientation began at 6:00 with a meeting and a mock pep fest in the gym. Freshmen entered the gym through a gauntlet of Link members and teachers offering encouragement with handshakes and high fives.
“The idea for a gauntlet started because when seniors graduate, they leave the ceremony through a gauntlet of teachers,” said counselor Jill Engquist. “So we thought it would be symbolic to have the freshman enter high school through a gauntlet and leave the same way.”
Once seated, freshmen learned the words to the school song and met the teachers of various departments in the high school.  Upon dismissal from the gym, students participated in a mock school day. This activity allowed freshmen to find their classrooms and meet their teachers before the year officially started.
“Orientation was definitely helpful,” said freshman Tommy Huninghake. “I feel more confident now that I know I can find my classes.” Huninghake was not the only freshman with this notion.
“Orientation is helpful, it’s nice knowing where I’m going. My biggest concern is that I’m going to get trampled.” said freshman Samantha Crews.

Freshman Tiffany Woolcott is excited to be involved in high school band. She was a part of summer marching band as an eighth grader, and can’t wait to play in symphonic band. She has only one concern about high school.

“Everybody is taller than me,” she said.

Freshman orientation was also beneficial to the parents of the incoming students. Parents gathered in the PAC to learn about the high school’s policies. Principal Paul Neubauer informed the parents about the school’s anti-bullying policy and anonymous tip line, as well as the workings of the high school.

“My favorite part is the gauntlet, when the doors open and the kids come through,” said Engquist. “The excitement  for the staff and the surprise on the freshmen’s face gives me chills every year.”

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