The Class of 2026 began their freshman year on August 31 in the CCPAC with a formal orientation to the Ninth Grade Academy, followed by an informal meet and greet with Link Leaders, and a tour of the high school. NGA House Administrator Mary Leach introduced the almost 300 freshmen to staff and counselors. Principal Scott Wilson clarified the responsibilities and rewards of being part of the high school community.
Small groups of students then joined their Link Leaders, volunteer juniors and seniors who work with freshmen during the transition year to help them find success. Group leaders facilitated Get to Know You discussions, answered questions, and explained that they would be available throughout the year to act as mentors. This year’s 55 Link Leaders, who signed up for the program last spring, said they had great groups and enjoyed getting to know the freshmen.
Students then had a chance to tour the hallways and familiarize themselves with the offices, cafeteria, commons and classrooms. Several organizations were also on hand to invite new members, including the Drama Club, Sports Boosters and Peer Tutoring.
The Link Leader Program has proven to be a vital tool for helping our ninth graders feel a sense of belonging as they discover their new educational environment. As the school year progresses, Link Leaders will continue to guide and support their group members.