Incoming freshman will get an engaging taste of what student life is all about at Pioneer Valley High School.
The sixth annual "Link Crew" orientation begins at 8 a.m. and wraps up about noon Friday at the campus, 675 Panther Drive. More than 600 freshman and 150 junior and senior leaders are participating.
"We want to ease any stress so they feel comfortable and can make the most of their educational experience here,'' PVHS Link Crew advisor Marcie Guerra said.
The orientation kicks off in the gym, where the new learners are greeted by motivated student leaders and mentors. The leaders, who plan to help the newcomers build confidence in their new environment, will divide the students into small groups and take them to classrooms for various activities. They will receive a school tour and be able to ask and receive answers to any questions they may have.
The student leaders will also mentor the new freshman throughout the school year. That commitment has ensured the new students pay it forward to others in the future.
In the past, the school tradition has created a fun and quirky environment where new friends are made and the high school community unites. Some student leaders wore hamburger costumes while the newer students were dressed as french fries. Another year, a student leader dressed as a chicken and the freshman were the eggs. Many costumes are homemade or purchased cheaply.
— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.