Hundreds of incoming freshmen attended orientations and camps throughout EPISD high schools over the past two weeks with one goal in mind: turning nervous ninth-graders into cool and confident students by the time classes start on Monday.
Members of the Class of 2021 got a jumpstart on their high-school career by attending the camps at their respective school and learning about traditions, rules and – most importantly – one another.
“The camp helps relieves some of the anxiety of coming into an upper grade level by building community with our current students and bond with each other,” El Paso High Assistant Principal Gina Ramirez said. “They may have some of their friends here, but they have the opportunity to get know new people and collaborate with some fun, team-building activities. We want them to come in with the sense that this is a fun place to be.”
El Paso High’s two-day Cub Camp started with a rally with upperclassmen welcoming the freshmen, and ended with an outing to the Fort Bliss Leadership Reaction Course.
Celine Dipp loves the Lady on the Hill campus and looks forward to being a tiger. Her favorite part of the camp was going to Fort Bliss and trying her hand at the obstacle course.
“It was a lot of fun. It’s nice to integrate yourself into the school,” Dipp said. “I am looking forward to the dual language program. It’s great to be able to do your studies in English and Spanish.”
Over at Bowie High, students learned about the different clubs, sports and programs available before going on a tour of the campus.
Student Adrian Alvarado, who is interested in the business academy at the South Side school, enjoyed listening to the mariachis and watching the different dance groups perform.
“I’m excited to start school here. I am looking forward to focusing on my studies so I can go to the university to study mechanical engineering,” Alvarado said. “The orientation is school. I’m starting to feel that Bowie pride.”
Burges High School worked on generating some school spirit of their own Tuesday morning The Mustangs kicked off their safari-themed freshmen orientation with the chicken dance to get students moving.
Freshman Bryanna Gonzalez danced with her former Ross Middle classmates to stave off the jitters.
“I’m a little nervous because the school is really big compared to Ross, but it’s cool they are going to gives us a tour so we won’t be lost the first day of school. I’m looking forward to playing volleyball as a Mustang and meeting new people.”
Freshman Jesus Nuñez transferred from the Austin feeder pattern because he was interested in the programs at Burges.
“I’m a bit nervous but excited to start. I already signed up for the early college program and plan on playing basketball,” Nuñez said. “I want to get a head start so I can study architecture when I graduate. I am looking forward to being a Mustang.”
Chapin High School had its annual Fish Camp, where hundreds of incoming students learned about the Husky traditions and toured the school before watching the cheerleaders, band and dance groups perform.