Link Crew Welcomes Class of 2025

August 22, 2021

Incoming freshmen were met with cheers as they were welcomed to the high school on Wednesday, Aug. 18.

The student orientation, organized and facilitated by Link Crew and faculty, was a day for the class of 2025 to begin their high school journeys.

Kevin Lawrence leads students in a game of “Simon Says” to begin orientation. Photograph Courtesy of Laura Polaski

Link Crew adviser and physical education teacher Abigail Grove explains that the efforts to make the day happen are more than worth it.

“Orientation is a casual day,” said Grove. “Incoming freshmen get to meet their Link Crew Leaders and teachers in a more laid back setting. There’s time built in throughout the day where they’ll be equipped with skills to help them with daily tasks throughout the rest of their four years.”

The orientation began in the main gym to break the ice.

Link Crew adviser and history teacher Kevin Lawrence leads the opening to the orientation every year and notes that it is more important than one may think.

Senior Link Crew leaders Grace Hartenstein and Jame’s Stallings cheer together for freshmen. Photograph by Alexa Viands

“I think the introduction is probably what the freshmen remember most because it’s the very first thing that occurs in the morning and is frankly the most outlandish thing that happens throughout the day,” said Lawrence. “The entire opening assembly is designed to redirect the attention of the freshmen from their own fears and nerves to the silliness of what is happening right in front of them with some lessons sprinkled in.”

Later in the schedule, students participated in a series of activities that were meant to draw them closer together and to introduce life skills that would be beneficial throughout the year.

Freshmen participate in a scavenger hunt to explore the high school with their Link Crew leaders. Photograph  Courtesy of Elena Pasko

One of the activities that returns to the orientation every year is ’64 Squares.’

Students work as a team to discover the path that can be used to progress across an eight-by-eight grid, retracing their steps if they guess incorrectly.

Another student favorite involves working as pairs, racing to pop balloons between each other through a hug.

Physical education teacher and Link Crew adviser Joe Sorice remarks that the most beneficial small group activity is ‘Name Tag.’

The game is true to its title, involving saying your name and then the name of another person, the cycle repeating until the person in the center of the circle tags the person whose name is called. 

Students are tasked with multiple activities, beginning with a high five to the person across from them. Photograph by Alexa Viands

It’s a great opportunity for students to put a name with a face and recall their classmate’s name quickly and efficiently,” said Sorice. “Students are actively engaged in the activity even if they are not the person in the middle of the circle, and need to pay close attention and remember and recall names.”

When asked if there was anything he would change for orientation next year, Sorice didn’t have much to note.

“There’s always room for improvement, but I am very pleased with how this year’s orientation went,” said Sorice. “Mrs. Grove is one of the most organized people that I know, and she did an unbelievable job of coordinating not only our Link Leaders and freshmen, but was also ready with backup plans and alternatives when needed.”

Junior Link Crew leader Olivia McGlaughlin offers a final piece of advice to the freshmen.

“Keep track of classwork, and complete your work on time,” said McGlaughlin. “You also shouldn’t be afraid to utilize your resources. They’re easy to get, and they really do help.”

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