General Amherst opens its doors early to Grade 9 students



By Ron Giofu


School is underway but Grade 9 students at General Amherst High School got a sneak peak at their new home last Wednesday morning.

The annual Grade 9 orientation day was held with students learning where their classes were, who their new teachers would be and even how to open their lockers. Principal Melissa DeBruyne said it was a way for the school’s newest students to be able to get from periods one to four properly and to get their books as well.

“It’s a big transition,” said DeBruyne.

Student parliament representatives and peer mentors were on hand to help the new Grade 9’s as well.

General Amherst teacher Jason McLean speaks to the new Grade 9 students during Grade 9 orientation last Wednesday morning.

“That makes it easier for (the Grade 9’s) to see the older kids helping,” said DeBruyne.

The Grade 9 students also got to meet the students in their classes as well as their teachers. The ability to find and open their lockers was something last year’s Grade 9’s said was important, DeBruyne added.

New General Amherst High School students participate in an activity to get to know each other during the Aug. 29 Grade 9 orientation day.

“We interviewed students from last year to ask what we can improve,” she said. “They had a lot of improvements for us to do this year, including their lockers.”

Jordan Wingerden, the new student prime minister, said the older students are “trying to pass along our wisdom” to the younger students.

“They can share stories of high school and teach them the do’s and don’ts,” said Wingerden. “We’re excited to make the Grade 9’s feel welcome.”

Physical education teacher Lisa Voakes meets some of her new students.

Cassidy Zelle, deputy junior prime minister, added that by learning who is also in their classes, the Grade 9 students will be able to get over their nervousness quicker.

“Instead of doing ice-breakers with random students, they are doing them with people in their classes,” she said.

There were also some games and activities for the new students to enjoy and help them get acclimated to their new school.

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