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Class of 2023 faces new obstacles, learns from previous struggles

Megan LeBlanc | The Feather Online

The 2019 homecoming freshman candidates were (from left to right) Aubery Graham, Tori Tarlton and Kirra Obwald.

The class of 2023 enters their first year of high school, with some freshmen exposed to new fears and anxieties. Grades received now will affect what college recruiters see from the beginning of high school careers.

After experiencing their first month of high school, students may start to realize the levels of difficulty in each of their classes. Most teachers remind students to regularly check Powerschool and Schoology for information.

Some teachers enforce zero tolerance for missing work, even for struggling or absent students. Many teachers utilize Schoology to post assignments and other resources for student success. 

Stepping into her new role as a freshmen and junior English teacher, Melanie Portwood taught one of the many junior high Bible classes last year. Portwood shares her top tip for incoming students. 

“I think my tip would be to try to find a way to be organized that makes sense to you,” Portwood said. “So if that means a big binder with six separate places for each class or if it’s folders or if you have a calendar to keep track of when things are due, then that’s the best thing.” 

Graduating high school in 1985, Portwood did not connect with her English teacher, but the way he taught impacted the way she viewed literature and vocabulary. Portwood shares the importance of asking questions in the learning process.

“I always like it when students ask questions,” Portwood continued. “I don’t think any question is silly or stupid because, if you’re wondering about it, then somebody else might worry about it; so ask those questions.”

Marshal Goldsborough, ‘23, noticed growth from previous years and sees himself gaining confidence.

“I think I have gained a little bit more confidence,” Goldsburough said. “This is the first new school I have gone to in six years. I was hoping that this school would have a better environment for me, and so far it has. I was hoping I could meet some better people here who have a better influence on me and how I live.”

Freshman Lizzy Baker views kindness from students as she enters a Christian school, coming from a public school, Sierra High. Students welcome in new peers on the first day, bringing together the school community.

“I am new to this school and went to public school first,” Baker said. “Since you have to pay to go here, I thought everyone was going to be rich and snobby but then they all turned out to be really nice.”

Stepping in to a new school, Baker feared the way other kids would treat her. She soon found out that most people were accepting and very different from the stereotypes she had heard.

Nathan Case began as a junior high science long-term substitute for Terry Richards. Case, now the high school biology and zoology teacher, begins his first full year on campus, while finishing his teaching credential. Case shares his tips for new students.

“Biology is not difficult because it goes more in-depth,” Case said. “I would probably say the first tip is to have a planner or a notebook that keeps frame of your assignments. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, be willing to ask the questions.” 

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Freshman may experience stress as part of their new journey in high school.

Shauna Howard, ‘20, informs others that freshman year is what you make of it. Howard includes her enjoyment of freshman year while building the homecoming float and creating her first N.O.T.S. movie. 

“Attitude matters a lot more than you think,” Howard said. “I think sometimes the expectation for freshman year is that you won’t be able to be as involved in activities as in your later high school years, but just because it’s your first year doesn’t mean you can’t do cool things.” 

According to Portwood and Case, the first five tips for freshmen are: bring a planner, be organized, use a calendar, ask questions and always try your hardest.       

Share below how you felt coming into high school! Have you gained confidence, if so, how? Take time to welcome someone new to your school.

For another freshman article, read Freshman class looks to participate, compete in homecoming activities.

For more articles, read Moms in Christ pray, support campus families, staff or College Corner: College fairs, NACCAP benefits.

Severo Jimenez can be reached via email. 

Shane Philips can be reached via email.

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