HHS Leadership students went wild at this year’s 9th Grade Orientation. Rather than give freshmen tours, they decided to take them on a high school safari.
These upperclassmen scoured their closets for any attire and accessories they felt were fitting of a jungle cruise. They then played the role of tour guide, helping new students navigate the school’s hallways and pointing out points of interest along the way. The guides spotted an array of hawks and even a fox - HHS Principal Tim Fox, that is. Mr. Fox greeted students with a warm welcome before sending them on their way to find their classrooms and learn a variety of survival skills. Students learned where to pay a sports or class fee, check out a book, and receive counseling support. They were also oriented to such important sites such as restrooms, the lunch counter, and the bus drop off/pick up area.
Freshmen students, initially apprehensive about the unknowns of a new school, were put at ease with the jungle theme. One student expressed appreciation for the “creativity and extra effort.” Another said her tour guide’s jokes were “about as good as those on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland," - which was not meant as a compliment.
Leadership Advisor Beth Tugaw, who opened the school in 2003, saluted her students for their creativity and compassion. Tugaw noted that while new student tours are a back-to-school tradition, this was the first time they changed the format with freshmen in mind. “They wanted the students to relax and have fun,” said Tugaw. She added, “They felt if they didn’t take themselves seriously then the freshmen wouldn't take the first day of school too seriously, either.”
Leadership students also felt it was a success, especially given that it was their first time adding in a few theatrical touches. After all, the goal was not to surpass The Jungle Cruise. It was to give new students the confidence to explore the school on their own. Senior Max Klodt said, “We wanted to give freshmen the opportunity to check out the school so they would be comfortable for the first day of school.” Jackson McNair added, “We wanted freshmen to be excited about the school year and know that we are here to help them be successful.”