‘Freshmen! Come on!’ | VailDaily.com

‘Freshmen! Come on!’

EDU EVHS Fresh 2 MC 8-17

GYPSUM ” Today marks the first day of school for students attending Eagle County School District schools.

The first day is always a little nerve-racking, and for students entering high school for the first time, it can be especially daunting. Eagle Valley High School students and staff members decided to do something about that.

Wednesday morning ” under the supervision of counselor Tammi Boeke ” Link Crew members took those freshmen under their wings and showed them the ropes. Then, freshmen enjoyed lunch sponsored by the school’s booster club and went home feeling less jittery about having to walk through those double doors.

Link Crew members consist of juniors and seniors who are nominated by teachers. Students are chosen for a variety of reasons and have different interests and backgrounds.

The high school has hosted activities like this for in-coming freshmen for the past six years. This year, members showed up at the school’s gym in bright orange T-shirts and enthusiastically greeted freshmen with smiles and cheers.

During one hallway greeting, senior Hannah Lundholm encouraged freshman to walk towards the gym.

“Freshmen! Come on! This way!” Lundholm yelled.

When asked why she likes being a Link Crew member, Lundholm smiled, “So I can be a part of the freshmen’s memorable experience in high school.”

Nervous freshmen entered the school’s gym at around 8:30.

“All of the upperclassmen greeted me with open arms and made me feel welcome,” freshman Chris Brubeck said.

Positive energy oozed from the building. “The feeling in there was amazing ” that was just awesome,” the mother of a ninth grader said as her daughter entered.

As Boeke spearheaded activities, freshmen relaxed with Link Crew members. The group enjoyed skits and learned valuable information, ranging from basic school rules to social concerns.

Older students and teachers spread positive messages to the 180 freshmen, with one message standing out ” get involved.

“There are four things that students want out of their high school experience,” Principal Mark Strakbein said. “They want to belong, they want ownership, they want to realize the value of being here, and they want enjoyment.”

Getting involved helps students build positive relationships in school, Strakbein said.

Athletics Director Dave Scott told students that memories and friendships are created by becoming involved in school ” whether as a member of a club, an athlete and through other school activities.

Students echoed that advice. Senior David Earle said it’s critical to get involved.

“High school is an awesome experience,” Earle said. “Younger students should feel comfortable coming to us for help. And the main thing is to get involved in something.”

Boeke went on to explain that there are three types of people.

“There are those make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who don’t know what happened,” Boeke said.

“The first two are important ” it’s important to make things happen and be a leader. It’s also important to watch things happen and support your peers,” Boeke continued. “Those who don’t know what happened have name tags still sitting on the table. Don’t let yourself become one of those people.”

There are many different aspects of the campus and various opportunities for students, said Boeke, who also talked about accepting individuals for who they are and talking with people ” not about them. Treating people with respect was also emphasized.

Strakbein said he was pleased with the event.

“We are so fortunate to have student leadership programs whose purpose is to better our school by building relationships with our incoming freshman class,” said Strakbein, who emphasized the school’s focus is ‘building relationships’ with students.

“These relationships come from teacher to student, student to student and within this area from upperclassman to underclassman,” Strakbein said. “I’m extremely proud of our Link Crew and its sponsors as they lay the foundation of a successful start of the year.”

After a few lighthearted films and a tour of the building, students ate outside and reflected on the morning’s events.

“I’m excited to start my freshman year at EVHS,” Alex Wolf said. “The upperclassmen were really helpful.” Angela Phillips agreed, “I feel so encouraged about being a freshman and feel very supported here.”

Link Crew members also were happy with the morning.

“I think is was good that we got here early,” senior Carlos Martinez said. “More activities might be better next year.”

Seniors Cassidy Warner and Kayla Phillips thought the small group games were good and said they were grateful that the freshmen were cooperative.

“It was great that a lot of the freshmen really wanted to participate,” Warner said.

Vail, Colorado

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