ORR freshmen get a jump start on school

Aug 23, 2019

When Old Rochester Regional Principal Michael Devoll wanted to show incoming freshmen that they could be and do a whole host of things outside the classroom, his best resource was his current students. 

At an Aug. 23 Freshmen Orientation the sophomores, juniors and seniors in the AmbassadOR program lined the edge of the stage in the high school’s auditorium. Devoll asked each student to say their name, grade and what they were involved in. Some students listed just one sport or activity. Others were three season athletes, or listed more than 5 clubs. 

Devoll emphasized that in middle school “the first year you’re new and the second year you’re leaving.” He said he appreciated that in high school students had more time to develop interests. 

He also stressed that the AmbassadORs would be very available to new students the first day and week.  

Devoll wants his new students to take on as much as those who have been at the high school for a year or more. He explained that the schedule is designed with ample time in the middle of and after the school day so that “there’s always time for everything.” 

New Assistant Principal Vanessa Harvey said it was her first orientation at Old Rochester as well. She explained that “you’re going to develop a good relationship with staff members,” and urged students to tell her when things are wrong so she can fix them.  

School Nurse, Kim Corazzini, also addressed the students, saying that her goal was for them  “to stay in class and be healthy.” She covered some basic tips to help them do so.  

“If you are not signed up for a sport yet, sign up for a sport,” said Athletic Director Bill Tilden when he addressed students. He explained that if the freshmen are cut from one sport (such as golf, which only has 16 spots), they can move to another. 

Robert Biehl and Beth Oleson will serve as the advisors for the freshmen. 

After the presentations, students split into their homerooms with the AmbassadORs and went over some of the logistics of the school day. The student leaders gave out schedules and told freshmen if they had first or fourth lunch, handed out locker combinations and let students try their lockers, and talked about teacher mentors and extra help. 

“You only have five minutes to get from class to class, but it’s okay,” one ambassadOR,  Sean Laly, said. 

After the tips and a school tour, freshmen returned to their parents in the auditorium and took a quiz on the high school, with bulldog stickers handed out as prizes for getting questions right.