A Fresh Start

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

School officially begins for the city of Hartselle on August 9, and that means there will be plenty of new faces at the Hartselle High School. In fact, there will be around 260 of them as this year’s freshmen class is one of the largest to come through Hartselle in a long time. To help them get a head start on adjusting to the speed of high school, Hartselle set up a freshman orientation/camp that took place on August 4.

The camp started by bringing all the freshmen that attended into the high school auditorium. Once there, high school Guidance Counselor Dana Gladden, who was in charge of the camp, proceeded to go through everything bit of information a freshman might need to know before starting at the high school. Among the information she talked about was where car riders and bus riders would go, the school’s INOW system, which allows students and parents to check attendance and grades and different tips for succeeding in high school such as organizational tips and how to study. “We had outstanding participation and a full auditorium.” Gladden said. “They seemed excited to be here and we’re looking forward to a great class of 2021.”

After leaving the auditorium, the freshmen were led to the gym where they participated in a mock pep rally to get used to the event. The cheerleaders led the pep rally and did multiple cheers just like a regular rally, while the band played the majority of their most popular songs. At the end, the freshmen participated in a class call, which is a competition between the four classes to see who can be the loudest and earn the spirit stick. After finishing the pep rally, the freshmen were allowed to go through their class schedule. They would have five minutes, just like a regular school day, to get to the class and then 15 minutes in the class with their teacher. Student ambassadors lined the hallways to help the freshmen find their way, which was a very important feature according to Principal Jeff Hyche. “The ambassadors are great. They are their peers and they were in the same boat just a few years ago.” Hyche said. “They understand what it’s like to be a freshman and they are a great help.” Hyche echoed Gladden’s statement when discussing the success of the day. “It’s gone very well. We’ve had very good attendance.” Hyche said. “We have a big freshman class of about 260 and we’ve had about 240 here today. It just helps take the edge off of that first day for them.”

The freshman camp is a little more elaborate now than in years pass with the details the school offers, which Gladden says has been a big help. “It help’s a lot because they don’t know what to expect.” Gladden said. “We try to give them as much information as possible before school starts because a lot of times they don’t want to ask questions. We want them to be as prepared as possible because this is their first year and we want them to get started on the right track.”

The school fed the students a pizza lunch to close out the event. After some discussion, it was decided that about 235 of the 260 freshmen students were in attendance.

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