New students welcomed by teachers, FIRE leaders at orientation (29 photos)


Melissa Marshall

Incoming freshmen participate in the new student orientation on Thursday morning. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Incoming freshmen participate in the new student orientation on Thursday morning. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

New students walked into Spirito Hall Thursday morning unaware of the back rubs they would share, new people they would meet, and bonds they would create with upperclassmen FIRE leaders who have volunteered to help them through their freshman year.

Foothill’s interactive orientation is focused on making the bridge from middle school to high school easier and on giving new students an introduction to Foothill.

“I’m nervous, but very excited,” incoming freshman Evelyn Selby said. “I’ve heard it’s a good school, and very small so you get to know everyone. I’m glad to be here.”

The new student orientation was planned by FIRE (Foothill Intervention, Reinforcement, and Enrichment) coordinators Conni Carr and Anthony Villa.  Every week, freshmen must attend FIRE, a 30-minute advisory program Tuesday through Friday, in order to work on homework and receive help from their FIRE leaders and teachers.

“The main idea of it is to change the role of a senior and a junior into the role of mentoring rather than the role of man on campus, in order to make the freshmen feel more welcome instead of feeling more intimidated,” Villa said.

Juniors and seniors apply to become a FIRE leader and, if selected, prepare during the summer for the upcoming year.

“A lot of hard work was put into it. You have to want to be there and help the kids, or it is not as fun and not as productive for the kids,” junior FIRE leader Aimee Ellis said.

FIRE leaders are there to help the students adjust to a new school, and act as an older brother or sister, specifically for the incoming freshmen.

Many students, like freshman Hannah Wager, have heard rumors about Foothill’s coursework.

“I heard that it has a very rigorous schedule, but the people seem very dedicated to their work, which is good,” Wager said.  “Also a lot of cool things happen here, so I am excited to participate in that.”

FIRE leaders are there to help the students in classes they are struggling with.

“The FIRE leaders serve as a good mediator to help the freshmen get involved in the school and form good bonds between the upper classmen and the freshmen,” ASB advisor Darcy Duffy said.

Carson Graves is a junior who volunteered to be a FIRE leader, specifically to bond with the lower classmen and help them through their first year of high school.

“I wanted to be a memory that a freshmen would have for the rest of their high school experience. Where they could look back and say ‘He was awesome,” Graves said.


Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

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