Brandy Lyons, Student Assistance Program Counselor, said in an e-mail interview that since the first day of school, about 100 students have transferred to Leesville. Over the summer, about 150 new students enrolled, not including those coming up from the middle schools.
“In the next semester, we’ll probably have anywhere from 50-100 more transfers,” estimates Lyons.
Ilana Dunne, freshman, began attending Leesville October 26. She is not only becoming accustomed to a new school, she is adjusting to a new country; Dunne moved here from Ireland with her parents four weeks ago.
“It was really big,” said Dunne, describing her first impression of the school. In her old school, the middle and high schools are combined and total about 1,000 students, much smaller than Leesville.
Though extremely nervous to begin with, Dunne pushed through her anxiety and completed her first day. “The teachers are nice, and they help out a lot,” she said. “[The people] are very nice, friendly, and courteous.”
Australia Crowell, senior, attended Leesville during her freshman year, Sanderson her sophomore year, and has recently transferred back to Leesville.
She received a warm welcome from her old friends, many hugs, and exclamations of ‘You’re back!’. “It’s a good feeling,” said Crowell.
Although given the option to continuing attending Sanderson, Crowell decided to come back. “Leesville is like a homey feeling,” said Crowell. “I feel more comfortable here.”
Crowell said she was disappointed by the shorter lunches here – Sanderson’s lunch is twenty minutes longer – but really likes her teachers. “They’re good teachers. They’re not boring; it makes it more fun to learn.”
Bianca Loyola, sophomore, rejoined the Pride October 25 after attending Leesville for her freshman year and Cary High School for the first part of her sophomore year and is readjusting to life as a Loonie.
Loyola said although she knows at least two people in each class, the transition wasn’t that smooth. “[It was] definitely awkward… it’s inevitable,” said Loyola. “Schools are are all the same.”
“There are both social and academic challenges facing new/transfer students,” said Lyons. “One of the difficulties is getting to know people, making friends, and getting connected to LRHS. The academic struggles facing transfer students include getting used to new teachers, trying to jump in the middle of lessons, coming from schools that are not on block schedules.”
Students who participate in sports and extracurricular activities usually have an easier time than other students because they end up spending so much time with a set group of students. I think lunch time is one of the biggest worries for new students, which is why the Liaison program is such a big help.