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East Union High links with freshmen
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From left, Jillian Goulart and Frances Telles met two years ago during freshmen orientation. Dressed in Disney’s High School Musical gear, the East Union High juniors were among the 64 Link Crew leaders at Friday’s ninth-grade event. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Two years ago, Jillian Goulart and Frances Telles attended freshmen orientation at East Union High.

Thanks to Link Crew, they were randomly selected to the same group, with both coming from Nile Garden and St. Anthony’s, respectively.

“We really didn’t know too many people,” Goulart said.

Particularly since the majority of East Union students come from the Manteca Unified feeder sites of New Haven, Neil Hafley, McParland, French Camp and parts of Golden West.

Goulart and Telles were influenced by the efforts of the Link Crew leaders.

“We really liked their enthusiasm,” Telles said.

In turn, they were inspired to become Link Crew leaders.

Goulart and Telles, both juniors, were among the 64 upperclassmen involved in Friday’s orientation for the East Union High Class of 2013.

Some 400 of the estimated 450 ninth-grade students showed up for the getting acquainted session consisting of various icebreaking exercises and a tour of their new surroundings. Come Monday, they’ll be among the 1,700 students at the school.

“Our No. 1 objective is to teach our freshmen the Lancer way,” said Link Crew coordinator Scott Sacuskie, who has hosted the program for the past five years.

He noted that the No. 2 objective for these newcomers is for them to meet people “outside of their comfort zone.”

That sort of mix worked out quite well for Link Crew leaders Goulart and Telles, who have been friends since first getting paired up.

 They even managed to share their enthusiasm with the group of freshmen while dressed in “Disney’s High School Musical” theme.

Fun is the No. 3 objective for freshmen on the Link Crew list, with many of the leaders hitting the discount and dollar stores to pickup items just for that day.

“High school is fun,” Sacuskie said. “That’s why we encourage our freshmen to get involved.”

Freshmen orientation, in addition, included a closing ceremony at Dino Cunial Field. From there, ninth-grade students made their way to the gymnasium to pick up their class schedules, books, and learn about the various programs and activities.