Freshmen transition

Eighth-graders undergo orientation, ceremony as they prepare for high school

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Lyndi Wellman remembers being a freshman.

"It was the most terrifying thing ever," said Wellman, who now is a Moffat County High School junior. "It was so big, and everyone was new."

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That's why she enjoyed making the transition easier for incoming freshmen by helping with their orientation Monday morning. She and a group of current high school students led tours through the high school for Craig Middle School eighth-graders attending MCHS in the fall.

"We're showing them where everything is, so when they get up here they know," said sophomore Kirsten McAlexander, who also was a tour guide.

Students heard from high school administrators and counselors and practiced for the eighth-grade transition ceremony, held Monday night.

Some eighth-graders said they are excited for the move to high school, while others were admittedly nervous.

"We're going to be the underclassmen," eighth-grader Jessie Wiseman said. "And we're going to be little again."

MCHS Principal Jane Krogman assured the incoming students that rumors of freshmen initiation, or hazing, are completely false.

She challenged the class to be the first in her tenure -- and likely ever -- to have a 100-percent graduation rate.

"We want you to make the positive choice," Krogman said of their high school careers.

Assistant Principal Thom Schnellinger advised the eighth-graders that to be successful, they need to show up, turn in their work and aim for quality.

"I'm expecting your full attendance all the time, every day," Schnellinger said. "Be present and be engaged."

He warned students that cell phone and iPod use in the classroom is not tolerated. But most importantly, he asked students to make conscious decisions about their future.

"If you don't do your freshman year well, it will daunt you into your senior year," Schnellinger said.

Eighth-grader April Etheridge said she is ready to be at the high school. Getting adjusted may be a challenge, but it's one that's worth the effort.

"It's so much bigger than our other school," Etheridge said. "It's going to be a lot of fun though."

Moffat County High School will host an open house for freshmen and other new students from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 20, the day before school begins in the fall. At that time, students can locate their lockers and classes, as well as meet their teachers for the school year.

For more information, call the high school at 824-7036.

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