On August 23, Leesville hosted the first annual “Pride Launch,” an open house specifically for freshmen and their parents. Students were dropped off at 8:30 a.m. for general information about starting high school, tours of their schedule, and clubs fair. At 11:30, parents attended a “Parents of Freshmen” meeting, which offered an overview of how the school works.
The Leesville Liaisons, a group of students whose purpose is to assist new students in their transition to a new school, led the freshmen on tours of their schedule and took them from building to building, offering recommendations about navigating the school and how to best get from class to class.
“I tried to be as helpful as possible and show them the back-staircases, administrators’ offices, stuff like that,” said Layla Shayesteh, senior Leesville Liaison. “Most of them didn’t know the difference between the Attendance Office and Main Office, and didn’t know how the three lunches work. The more they know on the first day of school, the better their day will go.”
While the Liaisons led tours, another group of students attended the Club Fair in the multipurpose room. Prominent clubs at Leesville set up a table of information manned by the club’s officers to pass out flyers and encourage incoming freshmen to get involved.
“I think everyone appreciates the opportunity to tour the school and not be freaking out on the first day of school,” said an anonymous freshman. “I know a lot of people aren’t taking this seriously, but if we do it could really help us in the long run.”
At the conclusion of the morning, students’ parents returned for an informational meeting in the auditorium. Mr. Lyons, Allison Werk (Executive Council President) and the assistant principals encouraged parents not to worry about their students.
“When I wrote my speech, my primary goal was to not scare the freshmen and to let their parents know that high school is the not the big scary place they think it will be. The whole point of this orientation was to calm everyone’s nerves and get them ready for their first day,” said Werk, senior.