This year, 127 seniors wearing neon yellow t-shirts that read, “Auks Fly Together,” lined Manor Avenue, the Student Life Center, and the sidewalk to the Performing Arts Center. They waved signs with slogans like, “Honk if you’re an Auk,” “Welcome Class of 2017,” “Auks Rule,” and dozens of others. As the parents maneuvered their cars through the sea of neon yellow and green, the seniors cheered and every freshman got dozens of enthusiastic high-fives.
Once inside the theater, the freshman sat together as a class and were officially welcomed to Archmere by the administration and guidance departments. The seniors performed a hilarious skit, directed by math teacher Mr. Michael Johnson, and then they broke up into their advisory groups for some icebreaker activities.
Finally, after lunch, came the moment that all of the freshmen had been waiting patiently for all day: the laptop rollout. It was the largest single day rollout that we have had since we began the program as 145 students (135 freshman and 10 transfers) received their fully equipped MacBookPro laptops and Mr. Carl Campion, our Director of Technology, guided them through setup, features, and appropriate use.
Later that evening, the new students returned with their parents for the New Family BBQ during which Kristin and I ran a slide show on the big screens in the Student Life Center. The slide show featured all of the new students’ names with their pictures and some fun facts about the class.
The BBQ was the perfect ending to a successful day, but the most rewarding part of the day was seeing the new students (many of whom knew none of their classmates) hanging out together in the quad. I spoke with many parents who shared with me their pride and relief that their children had truly become a part of this community.
As Kristin mentioned in an earlier post, tradition is a big deal at Archmere and I believe that one of our greatest traditions is the Senior Welcome on Orientation day. It’s a telling moment – the leaders of the student body welcoming the new students into the community, letting them know that they are now a part of the Archmere family, and Auks fly together.