Hundreds of incoming Huntington High School freshmen and their parents attended an orientation program last week that saw students meet teachers and department leaders, participate in peer discussion groups led by older student-mentors, tour the building, get locker assignments and enjoy a sumptuous lunch in the cafeteria and courtyard areas.
More than 350 ninth graders are expected to start classes this week. Faculty and support staff members are ready for the influx of teenagers and prepared to help the Class of 2021 get their high school experience off to a fine start.
“Our freshman orientation was very well attended and it was a wonderful opportunity to get to meet our incoming ninth graders and their parents,” Principal Brenden Cusack said. “All of the feedback I received from those who attended indicated that it was truly a worthwhile experience for the kids, who had opportunities to meet up with their peers, student leaders and their counselors.”
Huntington High School Principal
Brenden Cusack. (Darin Reed photo)
Dozens of student-mentors participated in the day. Freshmen had an opportunity to meet with student government officers and guidance counselors, too. Discussion groups helped lower anxiety levels. Students also enjoyed the opportunity to become more familiar with the building, the rooms where their classes are scheduled to be held and various school procedures.
A long list of elective courses was shared. Students were told that instead of being scheduled for a study hall, they have dozens of different opportunities over the nine-period day to select an elective class. The teenagers were also given information about three dozen after school clubs they can join during the year.
“This year, we also distributed Chromebooks during the event,” Mr. Cusack said. “My heartfelt thanks go out to Marybeth Robinette and all of the technology department staff who made the process extremely smooth.”
Guidance counselors were available to correct any scheduling errors or conflicts. In addition to department directors and chairs, assistant principals Joseph DiTroia and Gamal Smith were also on hand to review policies and answer questions.
Most of the incoming freshmen are “graduates” of J. Taylor Finley Middle School, but several dozen of the students transferred into Huntington High School for the current school year.