CRESTVIEW — Long hallways, a sprawling campus, multiple out buildings and only six minutes between classes to get through them seems bewildering to a new student.
However, with Leadership program members’ help, new Crestview High School freshmen soon found their homerooms and classrooms during Thursday morning's Bulldog Camp.
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Students rapidly learned where their lockers were, where the cafeteria is, and where to find services such as the health clinic, resource officer and guidance office.
"I definitely was excited when I was a freshman," junior Ian Reagan said. "I think they're a little nervous right now. I know I was. They're going to get helplessly lost on the first day, but I think this (Bulldog Camp) will help them out a lot."
Ethan Sparagowski didn't foresee problems with his academic courses, and as a former People-to-People ambassador to Great Britain, was especially pleased with his social studies class.
"I like world history and stuff like that," he said.
Responsibility and opportunities
As high school students, freshman are expected to assume responsibility for their decisions or they might also find where the discipline office is.
"Ninth-graders have more discipline referrals than other grades," Dean of Students Kelly Hayes said.
Common problems involve dress code violations, such as boys wearing baseball caps indoors, or girls showing too much skin, she said. Girls incur more dress code violations than boys.
However, most of the messages the new students received were positive. During a student-organized club carnival in the gym, new students discovered co-curricular opportunities.
"Kids are signing up for the Math Club," mathematics teacher Angie Fortune said. "... Clubs make the kids feel part of the school."
Students browsed booths representing 16 academic, vocational, performing arts and recreational organizations, including Army ROTC, the school newspaper, Students Working Against Tobacco and the Christian Student Union.
Spanish Club president Celina Toso handed a bowl of chips and salsa to freshman Bryan Smith, who was eying the club's booth.
"I'm Hispanic so this might be good for me," Bryan said. "My mom is from Panama."
Most importantly, organizers said, the freshmen learned that when school opens Aug. 12, they have upperclassmen friends in the Leadership program they can turn to for advice and a kind word.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.