LINCOLN – Starting out as a freshman student in high school can be much easier if there are a few familiar faces at the school when the first day of school arrives.
That’s why Lincoln High School Principal Kevin McNamara, staff members of the school and upperclassmen were out in the school’s parking lot on Wednesday for the annual Freshmen Roar night.
Freshmen and their parents could meet the students’ teachers, take a tour of the high school, and also sign up for extracurricular activities such as sports or afterschool clubs.
Karen McNally and her son, Gerald, 14, were looking through the activities tables when they came across history teacher Frank Yip talking with students and parents near the Ski Club table.
Gerald asked about a chess club and was happy to hear Yip say he would set one up just for him.
“He’s actually going to start a chess club after Gerald talked to him,” McNally said.
Gerald himself said meeting Yip helped him feel better about starting at the new school. Gerald also got a chance to talk with Heidi Godowski, an assistant principal at the school, and that added to the list of faces he would remember on opening day.
“I was somewhat quite nervous about it but now not quite so much,” he said.
Over at the National Honor Society table, Victoria Albanes and her fellow society members and the organization’s adviser, Michelle King, were getting a new mentoring program for freshmen started.
Students recommended for the program by their eighth-grade teacher would be assigned a student mentor who would then be available to help them make the transition to high school life, according to Albanes.
“We are really going to be checking on them during advisory and when they are between classes,” she said. The program is a new one for the honor society students and one that Albanes thinks will help the freshmen. “They are going to have a friendly face that they know when they are in the hallways,” she said.
King said the new mentoring program is a great way for the new high school students to start learning about their school and meet some people they will encounter on a daily basis.
“First and foremost, it is a program that comes from the Honor Society and comes from the kids,” she said. “They will help them find ways to make the transition easier.”
The experience is also a good one for the honor students, since they are helping out in their school, she added.
“They are working with kids in their own high school, and it is a great place for them to start working in community service,” she said.
McNamara said the Roar was expected to help the just over 200 ninth-graders at the school have a great start to the new school year.
“It’s an opportunity to get a tour, meet some of the teachers, meet some of their guidance counselors, and also to sign up for some of the activities we have at the school,” he said.
“Most important of all, they come here to get their schedule for classes,” he said. The evening also included some fun events like a scavenger hunt, and also had entertainment and refreshments.
“It is a great event and one of my favorite events of the year,” McNamara said. “I look forward to meeting the members of the Class of 2017.”
On Wednesday, the freshmen will show up at the high school and have the building all to themselves for one day.
The school’s upperclassmen will arrive the following day to start their new school year, he said.
School Superintendent Georgia Fortunato also stopped by the Freshman Roar and said it showed what kind of staff works at the school.
“This teaching staff at the high school is second to none,” she said while looking over the many tables set up to help the freshmen.
She also commended the community of Lincoln for providing its children with the “many opportunities” available at the high school.
Teachers were back for two professional days during the week and also are set to start a new school year, according to Fortunato.
“Everything is ready and I know we are going to have another successful school year in Lincoln,” she said.