The school bell rang out for the first time of the new school year at West Henderson on Monday August 27, 2018. Upperclassmen returned to their familiar halls and freshmen experiencing high school for the first time were greeted with a pep rally and a flurry of activity to start the school year off with a bang.

The first week at West has always been unusual because of the students having to get accustomed to their class locations as well as classes being devoted to providing information on school changes and the classes themselves.
School changes have included things like increased security measures and safety procedures, new policies and the adoption of the “smart period” into school schedules.

Freshman Jaquan Bartlett said that the transition between Rugby Middle School and West has been an exciting and positive one.

“I like that the teachers are more chill here than they were at Rugby,” Bartlett said. “You can be more independent and do things like eat lunch outside.”

Returning students also have had a smooth first week.

“Everyone is a lot more confident about where their classes are,” sophomore Gracie Nesser said. “They don’t carry their schedules around in their hands trying to find all their classes. They just know where they are this year.”

One thing that returning students have noticed is that the school spirit is high and people are looking forward to the rest of the year when sports and student events only increase the excitement. Senior Victoria Montiel said that the senior class has been more enthusiastic about the events for this year.

“For my class, I think the vibe has changed,” Montiel said. “I remember before our class wouldn’t be participating in stuff, but now that we’re seniors we’re really into it.”

To help get the other classes more excited about the new year and the football game against East Henderson, a pep rally was held Friday, August 31. Students got to see the mascot, Miss Falcon; watch the football coaches try to get frozen t-shirts uncrumpled; and eat popsicles distributed by the junior class at the end of the rally.

A few hours later, student government held their first “Raise the Blue” tailgate in the senior parking lot. There was an ice cream truck, a corn hole contest, and a hot dog eating contest. Seniors Ray Olinger and Kye Andress, as well as junior Steven Davis, led the winning corn hole teams. Andress and senior Matthew Dylewski tied in the hot dog eating contest, both having consumed three hot dogs in two minutes.

After the tailgate, students in all grades rushed to the field to get good seats in the student section; bringing cowbells, kazoos, horns, signs, and a giant blue piece of fabric to literally raise the blue. It was the first student section experience for many freshmen, including Selah Chambers.

“I love how supportive everybody is and all the energy,” Chambers said.

Many other people felt the same way, and took to social media to spread the word. Junior Jordan McKeel was cheering on the track, and posted on Snapchat about all the support she felt from the crowd.

“It was the best game I have ever experienced,” McKeel wrote. “Everyone was so loving to one another and it truly felt like one big family in that stadium tonight. Thank you!”

By: Bartel Van Oostendorp, Print Editor-in-Chief, and Elise Trexler, Web Editor-in-Chief

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