Seventh Grade Orientation Eases Way for Students

The day finally arrived: On a beautiful sunny morning, 138 seventh graders, some nervous, many smiling, entered Babylon Jr./Sr. High School for their orientation. Some had been there before with older siblings; many were arriving for the first time.
New Principal, Al Cirone, waited in the lobby to greet them as they filed into the auditorium. Once everyone was seated, parents and children, Principal Cirone introduced himself. “Good morning and welcome to the Class of 2017. I’m glad you’re here. I’m your new principal,” he said. Mr. Cirone also introduced several staff members, including 10-year veteran, Assistant Principal Steve Goldberg. Principal Cirone tried to ease the students’ concerns. “Many of you fear making mistakes. You fear you will feel foolish. We are here for you. It is normal to be nervous,” he stated
He gave them some words of advice. “Keep a positive attitude. Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. This is a difficult transition, from the grade school to the junior/senior high school. It’s a transition from childhood to young adulthood. Sixth through eighth grades are very important because you are setting the foundation for your success in high school and beyond.”
He went on to explain that a great deal will be different for them now. “This is the first time you will be learning in six to seven classrooms. You will now have lockers. You will be responsible for getting to class on time and doing your homework,” he stated. But he said, “Our jobs here are to help you with whatever you need. Don’t be afraid to ask. You just need to worry about yourself and stay on target. Our goal is to create a group of empowered 21st-century students. We hope to inspire in you a passion for learning.”
The guidance counseling center director, Tracy Lesnick, told the students, “It’s an exciting morning for everyone. My son is in orientation for high school now. So I understand your anxiety.” She told everyone “Your agendas are your first step in communication.” She reminded them, “We are here to help you out. Remember: community service is not a chore. Start volunteering now.” Lesnick added, “Reading is so important. Get in the habit of reading.” She asked the parents to lead by example and let the children see them reading as well.
Student Council seniors Adam Marrone, Katie Lydakis and Hannah Wyllie were also on hand to explain about some of the fun activities that the school offers, like Spirit Week, Homecoming, BHS Presents and Powder Puff Football.
Adam Marrone said to the seventh graders, “Don’t be scared. With practice you will get to your classes on time, get your lockers open and learn your schedules. Remember: There is no fourth or fifth floor pool. Get involved and have fun.”