FHS orientation kicks off year

Tours, presentation of rules help students adjust to new school

About 450 Farragut High School incoming freshmen piled into the school’s auditorium for the school’s freshmen orientation.

The students arrived at the school Friday morning, Aug. 5, to meet administrators, learn about FHS’ traditions, tour the school, walk through their schedules and meet teachers.

“They are in for a fun-filled, exciting, packed schedule to-day,” Natalie Sisk, FHS science teacher and freshmen orientation organizer, said.

The school has been holding a freshmen orientation since 1999, she said. Normally, the orientation is a two-day process, during which eighth graders take the tour in the spring then walk through their schedule at an orientation before school starts.

“This year, with the TNReady testing, we were not allowed to have the spring orientation,” Sisk said. “So, we are doing everything in one day.”

The freshmen are among the 1,800 total number of students enrolled this school year, Candace Greer, FHS’s new curri-culum principal, said.

“This [450] represents a 200-student increase,” she said. “It’s really great that these people chose to come to Farragut.”

Greer began her duties July 11 and joined Ryan Siebe, FHS’s new principal.

Siebe said the orientation went smoothly.

“Natalie Sisk has organized this orientation for at least 10 years,” he said.

About 50 student leaders from FHS's Executive Board helped answer students’ questions and guide them to where freshmen needed to be during the orientation. The board’s students are made up of 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

They serve on 10 committees to organize activities, such as freshmen orientation, a freshmen and new students mentoring program, advertising of upcoming events, organizing a freshman tailgating party at FHS’s first home game and other activities.

“[The executive board members] stay with me until they graduate,” Sisk said. “I have 125 mentors who are 11th and 12th graders. They are on committees and do things throughout the year.

The executive committee was formed in 1997, and uses mentors to ease the transition of students from middle school to high school and to help ease fears of new students entering FHS, Sisk said.

“We want to touch base with any student who walks through the door,” she said.

The board’s mentoring program reaches out to freshmen and new students of all grades by matching higher classmen with the new students and freshmen, Sisk said.

The Executive Board, which Sisk heads, falls under the direction of Anthony Norris, assistant principal, and Ashley Bennewitz, guidance counselor.

“It takes a team to orchestrate something this big,” Sisk said. “The three of us work together [with the board].”

The mentoring program reaches out to freshmen and new students of all grades.