Tuesday morning at Manteca High made for quite a shuffle.
For starters, over 400 ninth-grade students – 436 were officially registered for the 2019-20 school year with another 40 or so being added on at the last minute, according to teacher Mary Ann Tolbert – made their way to Guss Schmeidt Field amid the construction for freshmen orientation.
The 99-year-old campus is currently undergoing a $42 million modernization that, when done, will consist of a bigger, larger gymnasium and pool coupled with some added classrooms.
The first phase of this project kicked off during the summer break.
Ninth graders, meanwhile, were welcomed to their new surroundings by Link Crew under the direction of Tolbert.
She has 45 Link Crew leaders who were trained on the process of the program consisting of team-building activities, cooperative skills development and situation scenarios, to name a few.
Stacy Aleman and Victoria Camacho aren’t too removed from the Link Crew process of adapting to their high school environment.
Both are sophomore Link Crew leaders.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” said Aleman on part of her reason for getting involved in Link Crew.
Camacho, who led her group of freshmen in a game of “Concentration” at midfield of the football stadium, recalled going through the process only a year ago.
“It was OK,” she said.
Camacho and Aleman, as Link Crew leaders, hope to ease the newcomers during this period of transition.
The first day of school is Thursday.
Earlier, Jeremy Bates, a motivational speaker the Tru Hope Summit – he’s also known as the “Hope Dealer” – provided words of encouragement to the freshmen, according to Tolbert.