Outside Huntley High´s cafeteria, it was a battle zone. Juniors Jacob Lopez and Ben Johnson were reenacting a scene from the fall play, Macbeth; they were slaughtering their opponents. Reliving the scene a dozen times throughout the night, they captivated the audience’s attention every time.
Wednesday, April 12, families of incoming freshmen gathered in the East Gym for the annual freshmen orientation. With eager freshmen anticipating their escape from the gym to wander the school, Principal Scott Rowe was reiterating to parents the importance of attending this meeting.
“The learning curve [from middle to high school] is pretty substantial,” Rowe said. “The school has a lot to offer for first time families.”
After a 10 minute-introduction with briefs from Freshmen Dean Alice Ohlinger and Rowe, the orientation became a structured free-for-all. Parents made their way to one of three locations at a time: the HUB for a talk on having their child adapt from middle school to high school, the East Gym for parents of first-time high school athletes, and the activities fair.
Over in the HUB, parents had an open discussion with a math and english teacher who primarily taught freshmen. The teachers, along with Freshmen Counselor Karen Miller, ran through an average day for the parent’s child. They chatted about the use of Chromebooks and agendas as well.
After the sit-down sessions came to an end, parents reunited with their children to hunt for clubs to partake in. Among the dozens of clubs on display, some of the more popular ones were the Fine Arts programs, Math Club, and Science Olympiad.
In the cafeteria, the Orchesis team was teaching a choreographed routine to newcomers.
“You build friendships,” varsity dancer Paige Wegrzyn said. “People should join because of the bonds you make. It is very different but a lot of fun.”
Coming in waves, the tides of families slowly ceased. It seemed nearly every newbie had their hands full with flyers and pamphlets.
“Itś all about getting involved,” Rowe said. “This is definitely something families should come to.”