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Incoming Arlee freshmen get oriented

Some students imagine the worst as they transition into high school.

“I’m afraid of failing every class I have,” said freshman Ashley Potts. “All my life I’ve had good grades, and I don’t want a failing grade. If I fail, I can’t get a good job. I want to be an astrophysicist, so I can study anything to do with outer space.”

The staff at Arlee High helped students lessen that anxiety during the first freshman orientation with lunch, team building activities and a scavenger hunt. The day ended with a family barbecue. A Gear UP Grant paid for the event.

“This is a small school, so a lot of the kids already know the building, but we wanted to give them a chance to get together to ease any anxiety, meet new teachers, pick up their Chromebooks and find their lockers,” said Deanne Smith, Gear Up coordinator. 

During lunch, Principal Jim Taylor welcomed the freshmen. Student Harold Yocum stood in front of the class of about 35 with a few words of advice. 

“Leave your comfort zone and get involved,” he said of school activities. “High school counts, so take your grades seriously.”

Superintendent Dave Whitesell congratulated the students.

“You are all tied for valedictorian,” he said. “What happens in four years is up to who? This is your education.”

Many of the students weren’t nervous about high school.

“I’m stoked to start football,” said freshman Nathaniel Coulson. 

Freshman Natalie Yocum is also looking forward to sports, and she doesn’t think she’ll have any problems transitioning into high school.

“I’m going to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” she said. “I’m excited to get started.” 

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