Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 1:55 pm | Mostly Cloudy 61º


Royals Freshmen Welcomed at San Marcos High School Orientation

Link Crews of upperclass students show the Class of 2021 around campus ahead of Monday's first day of school


Incoming freshman Summer Slotnick-Lastrico said she felt “nervous, but excited” to start school at San Marcos High School in southern Santa Barbara County.

Luckily for Slotnick-Lastrico, 13, a surplus of upperclassmen, teachers, administration and staff members were waiting for her and hundreds of other freshmen on Friday as they began their four-year academic adventure.

This year’s incoming freshmen were the center of attention as more than 500 students gathered in the school’s gymnasium.

Signs displaying “Welcome Class of 2121” were pinned on the walls and loud chants of “Don’t you wish you were a royal” could be heard inside the gym.

The four-hour orientation included receiving back-to-school paperwork and icebreaker exercises designed to prepare the students for their first days of high school, including tours around the campus at 4750 Hollister Ave.

The students received name tags and took a seat on the bleachers, where they were welcomed by Principal Ed Behrens and Aaron Solis, a teacher and activities director.

“Step outside your comfort zone,” Solis told the group. “I’m always encouraging kids to run for the Associated Student Body office.”

The morning orientation was a way to introduce the freshmen to new people and accomplish various tasks and games as a small group. 

The event was headed by a combination of upperclassmen known as Link Crew. The student leaders took the day out of their summer vacation to help incoming freshmen navigate unfamiliar hallways and answer questions.

Senior Link crew member Cristhian Lopez Morales said the activities were designed to make the Class of 2021 feel comfortable in their new environment.

“It helps break down the barriers and smooth the transition from middle school,” said Morales, 17. “Going to San Marcos High School means being part of a big family.”

Katana Anderson-Morris, 14, and fellow freshman Jacob Yinger, 13, both said they were looking forward to joining high school sports teams. 

“I’m excited to find my passion,” Anderson-Morris said. “I look forward to joining softball, volleyball and going to college after high school.”

Monday is the first day of school for Santa Barbara Unified School District students. 

Classes at nearby Goleta Union School District schools begin on Wednesday. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.