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Written by CAROL POMEDAY   
Wednesday, 22 August 2012 16:31

Freshmen to benefit from experience of savvy high-school upperclassmen

   A freshmen orientation at Cedar Grove Belgium High School will be held from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 30.

    This one will be different than in past years, Principal Larry Theiss said.

    Twenty-one juniors and seniors have volunteered to be mentors to the freshmen and help them adjust to high school.

    Two mentors will be matched with 10 freshmen who they will meet with throughout the year to discuss issues concerning them — everything from how to study for semester exams to what they should wear for homecoming.

    During next week’s orientation, the mentors will help freshmen find and open their lockers, then accompany them on a mini-schedule of their classes and introduce them to their teachers.

    “We’ll even have the bells ring so they can see how much time they have to get to their next class,” Theiss said. “There will be no other students in the building.

    “The two questions freshmen have are, ‘How do I know where my class is?’ and ‘How do I open my locker?’ We’ll take care of those two questions in a safe way. The cool thing is every freshman is going to know upperclassmen.”
   
     One of the first things the mentors will coach freshmen on is homecoming activities.

    “It’s not educational, but it’s important to the kids,” Theiss said.

    Theiss will address the students on the Rocket way — which means respect, responsibility, represent.

    Theiss, guidance counselor Sue King and teachers Tabitha Weavers, Mary Beth Desens and Bart Epping will conduct a mentor training session Monday, Aug. 27, to help the upperclassmen prepare for the freshmen.

    Students applied to be mentors and were chosen based on their abilities to study, manage their time, organize and participate in extracurricular activities.

    It will be up to the mentors and freshmen to decide how often they meet.

    Theiss, who is in his second year as principal, said he wanted to observe and listen his first year and not make changes. This year, he’s putting his stamp on several new programs.

    “Our big goal as a school is to increase student spirit and excitement about school,” Theiss said.

    He hopes to re-energize the cheer team with new advisor Emilie Daehnert, who is also the advisor for the new Spirit Crew. Thirty students attended the first Spirit Crew meeting on Aug. 3.

    The Spirit Crew will be in the stands for sporting events, pumping up spectators to cheer on their team. They will also be involved in homecoming activities and other events to improve the school’s environment and spirit.

    “We’re still going to have those high expectations, but we also want them to have fun and have positive relationships,” Theiss said.

    “We hope to have Rocket Man come back. I’ve heard a lot about Rocket Man.”


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