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2016 freshman orientation 3

Principal John Sawchuk welcomes the Class of 2020 to Columbia High School.

Incoming ninth graders were welcomed to Columbia High School by upperclassmen on Thursday morning for Freshman Orientation.

The freshmen sat in the auditorium and listened to the older students and school administrators talk about their new home for the next four years and how they can be successful.

“They’re going to welcome you to one of the best high schools in the area,” Principal John Sawchuk said about the student leaders in highlighter-colored shirts behind him. “And you guys are going to be a part of that.”

This marked the 18th year that upperclassmen ran Columbia’s Freshman Orientation, leading the program; discussing teacher expectations, cultural competency and student clubs at breakout sessions; and escorting freshmen around the building.

The upperclassmen gave all sorts of valuable advice:

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class.”

“As long as you put the effort in, you’ll do fine.”

2016 freshman orientation 1“Giving back helps you discover who you are and it also makes you realize what you have.”

 “You don’t want to do the bare minimum.”

 “It’s very important to help those who cannot help themselves.”

The fourth breakout session covered school safety and was led by Assistant Principal Tim Malloy and School Resource Officer Peter Partak.

Upstairs in the library, Principal Sawchuk spoke to parents about the PTSO, what the organization does and how they can get involved.

After the half-day orientation program, students and their parents enjoyed a picnic lunch on the football field.

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