Freshmen’s First Day

By Taku LaClair

The dread, nervousness, and excitement of the beginning of the school year is gone now. Four weeks into Jamesville-DeWitt High School students and staff are getting a sense of direction and routine as they settle down. Even the freshman, who came into the school year with a different look, are finding their groove.


Guidance counselor Clete Gualtieri works with the freshman at J-DHS. Mr.Gualtieri said during the summer he learned that the class is very diverse, has a wide range of interests, abilities, and stories. With the opening of the new turf he says that the freshman are joining the high school at a cool point.The pep rally and the homecoming football game made him feel that the freshman are coming in the beginning of a new era and unity at our school. “There’s a new sense of optimism and hope within the school,” he said, “(the freshman) are a hugely positive addition to the high school community.”


Though twins, Nick and Noah Mandelis had different looks into their first year of high school. Nick thought during the summer the high school would be scary, very big, and hard to navigate. Noah was positive and only worried about forgetting his binders. Nick and Noah have an advantage that some students don’t have: they have an older brother in the high school, senior Ryan Mandelis, who helped them. “Ryan’s showed me where my classes are,”  Nick said. Having an older brother already in the high school also makes them less intimidated by the upperclassman. As for the change in routine, both like six periods a day better than the daily nine periods at the middle school. “Six periods is a lot easier than nine,” Noah said, ”there’s more time to get work done and to learn.” Out of the classroom he’s already made great memories, such as attending the homecoming football game on Sept. 25.


Unlike Noah Mandelis, Ashleigh Freeman was nervous. Looking at the high school she felt like it would be bigger and more confusing, but once the year started she said it was not. The bigger upperclassmen don’t intimidate her. She has a few friends that are in the grades above her, but overall she’s not intimidated by her older peers. Like Mandelis, Freeman likes the block scheduling better than the 9 period schedule back at the middle school. Even though she has good memories at the middle school she’s made good memories so far this school year. She attended the ESM vs. J-D football and the J-D homecoming game. The electric atmosphere and being with her friends is what she likes most so far this year.


The opposite of both Freeman and Mandelis is Liam Latray. He came into the school year tough as nails. Nothing was intimidating to him and change wasn’t a fear. Everything about the high school he seems to enjoy better than middle school. He especially likes the variety of clubs that he can join. “The options are very nice to have,” he said. Latray says that there is no difference for him between block scheduling and the nine period schedule. The highlights for him this school year is having fun in media production and going to the chilly football games.


Different from her peers, Skyler Clemons is not a fan of the 82 minute long period. “It’s too long and by the end of the period I want to sleep,” she said. She doesn’t mind the change to having A, B, C, and D days. Clemons says it’s a good change to have. She enjoys the school year so far particularly because she can stay after and talk to teachers if she needs help. “The teachers are very nice and are helpful,” she said.


“Overall I think it’s going to be a great year at the high school!” says Freeman.


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