Maria, Mariah, Noelle and Taylor.
Those were some of the names that were matched up to the faces during one of the activities at Thursday’s freshmen orientation at Lathrop High.
“We call it the ‘name tag’ game,” said Noelle Smith, who is one of 63 Link Crew leaders at the school. “It’s a fun way to get to know one another and do some bonding.”
Link Crew is a high school transition program that welcomes freshmen to their new environment.
At LHS, about half of the 360 ninth-grade students enrolled strolled in bright and early to the large gymnasium, receiving a mass greeting from Link Crew leaders forming a human passageway.
It was all in fun.
That was the No. 1 advice to freshmen on this day by Link Crew advisor Irene Munguia, who led in the ice-breaking exercises to kick off the assembly.
“Have fun,” she said.
With outdoor temperatures heating up, Munguia recommended that they stay hydrated.
That was also her No. 2 advice.
After the assembly, the freshmen were divvied up into smaller groups, with each being led by Link Crew leaders.
They were a mix of upperclassmen – student government, athletics, band, choir, cheer, JROTC, and AP classes, to name a few – available to freshmen throughout this year as peer mentors.
“Learn from your Link Leaders. Ask them questions,” said Munguia on her No. 3 advice to the newcomers.
Principal Greg Leland offered up words of encouragement to the Class of 2021.
“Leave your legacy,” he said. “Leave your mark at this school.”
The first day of school is Monday.
As for Smith and her fellow Link Crew leader Taylor Rose, they were quick to establish a connection with their freshmen thanks in part to the group of activities.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail email@example.com.