Orientation celebrates a new school year

Katie Callahan, Co-Editor, AP Lit Set 6

On August 16, Academy kicked off another school year with Orientation Day led by Student Council. This year StudCo combined the once-separate freshman orientation and all-school orientation into one fun-filled day.

Freshmen arrived early, sporting their uniform polos and anxious smiles for an introductory orientation. StudCo, headed by President Hannah McNamara and Vice President Reci Timmons, introduced the freshmen to the traditional AHN song-chants loved by every Academy girl, songs that included “Little Red Wagon” and “Little Green Frog.” 

The next few hours featured ice breakers and other team-building activities to welcome the Class of 2015 and to begin their initiation into Academy traditions.   StudCo leaders advised freshmen on how to survive the big transition from middle school to high school.   Team-building activities included silly races such as the race  to determine which team could put on the Academy uniform the fastest.  After these early-morning activities, freshmen returned to their homerooms to await the arrival of upperclassmen.

At 11 am, the rest of the school arrived led by the Class of 2011 seniors. Despite minimal sleep at the Senior Sleepover at the home of Amanda Valdes the night before, the seniors showed their enthusiasm for their final orientation ever. The first chants of “Seniors, seniors, seniors” could be heard echoing through the halls of Academy as the class made their way from their newly acquired Senior Lounge to the Brady Center. The juniors and sophomores arrived as well, happy to be back in the company of friends. 

Student Council welcomed back the students introducing the new Principal, Mrs. Camille Jowanna and Vice Principal Mr. Jack Mullarkey. Both administrators  spoke with the student body, introducing themselves, the faculty, and the upcoming school year.  After introductions, StudCo began orientation day activities.

Beginning with songs, every Academy girl hopped on her feet to begin the day with dancing and singing. Afterwards, StudCo separated every girl into groups to play games and fun activities. Between games of dodge ball, balloon popping, and cup-stacking , Academy girls mingled while having a great time. By successfully completing each game or event, a group earned points,  making for friendly competition between groups.  Each group consisted of a mix of all grade levels,  allowing freshmen to meet with upperclassmen. Time flew fast before StudCo called the girls together for a final rendition of “Lion Hunt” to end the festivities of the day.

“Orientation helps the transition back into the school year. I was excited to see my friends and for orientation day activities,” said sophomore Cara Millburg.

“It was a great way to meet and spend time with the girls we’re going to be with for the next four years,”   commented freshman Katherine Hobson.

Orientation would have been not have been as successful without the detailed planning by the Student Council and their moderator Mrs. VP (Van Pelt). Their effort and enthusiasm transformed the day into a great way to reconnect with classmates through dancing, singing, and games. As orientation undoubtedly means the start of another long school year, StudCo helped Academy start the year on a strong, positive note.