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Ripon Unified students start school year
Students in Ripon Elementary School Transitional Kindergarten teacher Jamie Holts class get ready for story time during the first day of school at Ripon Elementary School on Thursday. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

This is a new era for Ripon High.
So said Activities Director Jill Mortensen during the kicking-off rally Thursday morning to mark the new school year.
Students entered the North Gym via the inflatable team tunnel – that’s the same one used during all Indians’ home football games – receiving words of encouragement from all.
“Our theme is ’Have Pride – Join the Tribe,’” said Mortensen, who also introduced the new principal and vice principal, Keith Rangel and Victor Ramirez, respectively.
ASB President Kayla Jacklich encouraged her fellow students to “find themselves.” By that, she echoed the message of the theme – be involved with what the school has to offer during your time here.
RHS is opening with strong enrollment figures – about 900, of which 275 are freshmen, according to Rangel, who may best exemplify what it means to “Join the Tribe.” Overall Ripon Unified has more than 3,100 students.
He’s an RHS alumnus and now holds down the top administrative post.
“We’re building the world’s greatest high school,” said Rangel of another saying for this year. “By that, we’re telling our kids to be the world’s greatest you.”
The previous day, the newcomers to the school took part in freshmen orientation hosted by Link Crew.
“Many were able to hit the ground running today,” said Mortensen, who is also the advisor of the transition top high school program aimed at the newcomers.
Besides a new campus, freshmen, rather than enjoying the comforts of home room, had to adjust to their new schedules.
“Now, they have to take seven classes at seven different locations,” Mortensen said.
Students came to campus briefly last week during the “Pow Wow” registration session. They picked up their class schedules, text books, and took photos for their ID cards.
Rangel, meanwhile, was thrilled with the volunteer support.
“Our parents are the unsung heroes,” he said. “We had 30 to 35 who came in and helped out during the two days (of the Pow Wow).”

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail