Welcome Class of 2018!

Alison Kuznitz ‘15
EE Co-Editor in Chief
Brittany Kubicko ‘15
EE Co-Editor in Chief

Freshmen Orientation prior to start of school was huge success.
Look up, Link up! For the first time in 5 years, Trumbull High School’s Link Crew program held its annual Freshmen Orientation before the start of school on August 20th. The incoming class of 553 freshmen were ushered into the THS gymnasium amidst the energetic cheering of nearly 120 Link Leaders. After participating in several opening activities as an entire grade, the freshmen were broken up into groups of about nine with two leaders.

In the past years, Freshmen Orientation was delayed due to either storms, such as Hurricane Sandy, or ongoing construction problems. Fortunately, this year marked the first time Link Crew Orientation and Link Leader training coincided almost perfectly with guidelines set forth by the Boomerang Project.

“I think that Orientation was much more effective since it was [held] before school began,” says Link Crew Commissioner Natalie Intemann. “It gave us leaders a chance to meet and connect with our crew members, which not only gave them increased comfort about their scary beginning of high school, but also gave us a chance to meet our year-long crew.”
The sixty crews scattered into various classrooms, where numerous activities took place. Although “Name Tag,” “Team Juggling,” and “64 Squares” may appear to be simply games at first glance, this is not the case. Each activity, in fact, parallels challenges faced by high schoolers on a regular b  asis.

In “64 Squares,” as the name suggests, 64 pieces of paper are laid out and the crew must work as a true team. By relying on memory and each otLink 8-20-14 (4)her, the group needs to discover a path to reach the end of the maze. Consequently, “64 Squares” subtly teaches freshmen one of the most valuable lessons they can take away from orientation.

According to Link Crew Coordinator Mr. Artese, “The activity is a powerful analogy of what a journey through high school is like. It shows how we make mistakes but then try again and again until we make it to the other side and graduate. It is all about finding a ‘path’ and then following the path to the other side…Once you find the path, you lead others through it, and you learn from others in the process. Everyone supports and helps each other get to the other side.”

Additionally, all of the freshmen received vital information specific to THS through a handout entitled “What Everyone Freshmen Should Know” (WEFSK), along with having the opportunity to ask their Link Leaders any questions they need answered before the first week of school.

A highlight of the of Orientation was when the crews went on tours of the school while wearing theme based attire in the hopes of winning the competition of the most spirited group.

Despite the fact that Freshmen Orientation is Link Crew’s most well-known event, the program actually continues throughout the duration of the school year.

“The real jist, the real power of the Link Crew program is about connection, and because it’s about connection, it has to be about student to student more so than administrator to student, because it’s really the students who run the program,” comments Link Crew Coordinator Mrs. Intemann. “It’s the students you travel with in the hallways, you eat with, you play with, [and] you work with. So, that bond is emphasized in… Link Crew.”

Four times a year, Link Leaders will lead Academic Follow-Ups, or AFU’s, in freshmen classes. Additionally, Link Crew holds scavenger hunts, supports freshmen sporting events, assists freshmen on a weekly basis at the Link Crew Help Desk in the commons, and much more.

Not to mention, a Board of Directors and Consultants is a new feature of the program this year. It is comprised of sixteen Link Leaders that will serve as an asset to the Link Crew Coordinators and Commissioners.
“The new Link Crew Board of Directors is an extremely helpful group of people that make sure everything is running smoothly,” states Link Crew Commissioner Gabby Christy. “They are an extra set of opinions and thoughts when it comes to activities regarding freshmen.”

Freshmen, the study body, and teachers alike should look forward to the many plans Link Crew has in store at THS for this year. All events will further enhance the mission of the program, especially fully acclimating ninth graders into our high school environment.

As Mrs. Intemann reinforces, “It’s critical that the kids feel like they’re a part of something much bigger than just their own individual class, 9th grade, they are also a part of school that welcomes them, and who better to welcome kids than other kids? You feel more accepted when you’re connected with other kids.”

And with Link Crew, connecting to Trumbull High School and feeling accepted by the community is what it’s all about.

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