Kickin’ off the School Year


Dylan Stuflick, Category Editor

The doors open, and out walks waves upon waves of new high school students, their entrance accompanied by high-fives, cheers and older students dancing on top of chairs, all to the beat of music that almost anybody can sing along to.

On Friday, juniors and seniors welcomed incoming freshmen with various games, activities and a tour of the school to get new students excited for high school and comfortable on their new campus.

As the shy freshmen settled into their seats after an “obnoxious” greeting according to freshman Sophia Hornbeek, older students and teachers led multiple games and icebreakers to crack the quiet awkwardness that permeated the room as the advent of something as new and nerve-wracking as high school approaches.

Led by teachers Mr. Chistopher Minkoff and Ms. Shanda Lee, the club in charge of this entire event, Link Crew, aims to make freshman more comfortable in school with multiple activities aimed towards helping the students meet new people and be well-integrated by the time their first day arrives.

Caiman Kickoff is just the first of many activities throughout the year. Starting with games involving the entire freshman class, they eventually split off into groups. Each group is led by two “Link Leaders,” juniors and seniors that have volunteered to be a constant contact for their group of freshman throughout the year, helping them with any issues they need, whether it’s not knowing where their class is on the first day, or if they just need a friend.

With games aimed towards the goal of meeting new people, the freshmen slowly but surely begin to open up. By the end of the day, the halls are filled with airhorns, yelling freshmen, and costumed groups all being led by equally loud Link Leaders on their tours.

At the end of the day, the goal was to ease the students into this new and exciting time in their lives. For freshman Melaie Haubrug, Link Crew was successful. “It was a really good experience and just helped me be less stressed for high school.” Haubrug said.

One of the many freshman, who is already participating in sports, took his Link Leader’s advice. Decked out in Star Wars attire, Triton Johnson said that his favorite part of the Caiman Kickoff was “dressing up … being loud and hanging out with a bunch of people— making new friends.”

Another freshmen that participated in the event, Justin Essa, was active throughout the day, singing “Smash Mouth” at the top of his lungs with the rest of his Link Leaders and fellow freshmen as they walked through the halls on their tour.

“I’m excited. I’m pumped to go to this school. It feels like it’s going to be a new home,” Essa said.