Freshman Seminar Sets Stage for Great Year
September 2, 2022
The tenth annual freshman seminar program at Huntington High School has helped set the stage for what teachers and students hope will be a great year.
This year’s freshman seminar was expanded more members of the Class of 2026. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily for three days, the seminar was focused on helping acclimate the incoming ninth graders to high school life.
Students interacted with their classmates, made important connections, heard about the opportunities and culture at the high school and learned more about what to expect. Participants were assigned two teacher-advisors, who will conduct check-ins with their group once per marking period and whenever a student reaches out.
Business education teacher Suzi Biagi, the longtime leader of the freshman seminar program, provided nine fellow teacher-advisors with a one day training workshop to prepare them for the year. The new advisors include world language teachers Elizabeth Casazza and Eileen Gonzalez; science teachers Rosario Lorenzano, Matthew Ligouri and Luigi Papasidero; reading teachers Debra Cheskes and Jennifer Savalli and special education science and math teachers Tara Rossy and Donna Nugent.
Principal Brenden Cusack met with the students upon their arrival on the first of three days. The teenagers were then put into groups numbering 20-25 and worked with their advisors on fun activities.
“Each day had a theme,” Ms. Biagi said. “Learning styles, organization and study skills and then team building ranging from ‘Huntington Survivor’ to a selfie scavenger hunt that was crafted to teach the students the lay of the land and familiarize them with the building.”
Class of 2016 alum Jonathan Canas spent participants talking about life at the high school and life as a young adult now. Current sophomore Daisy Campos spent two days with the group assisting with guiding the incoming ninth graders through a range of activities.
“Each day snacks and lunch were provided for the students and a sense of familiarity quieted some of the concerns of these incoming students,” Ms. Biagi said. “On the last day the students shopped for school supplies and asked thoughtful questions as well as shared comments about the program. Favorite things included the learning style activities, the scavenger hunt, playing HHS Survivor, Bingo, meeting new people, seeing old friends, meeting teachers, learning about clubs, meeting guidance counselors and the principal, finding their classes and their locker and even lunch.”
Student “takeaways” from the program included:
- Don’t skip classes
- Know your learning style
- Be on time
- Focus on your grade and do what you love
- Know your landmarks
- No need to be nervous, lots of people here to help you and the school is not that big!
- There is no pool on the roof!
- Don’t fall behind
- Try a lot of new things
- Come to orientation on Tuesday
- Follow the rules right from the beginning
- Ask for help!
- It’s going to be great!!