by Reonna Haywood – Staff Reporter
The Freshman Retreat was held Sept. 22 and 28 at Lake Retreat The retreat focuses on helping freshman to feel welcome at school, and on the core values that Falcons should emulate including: family, attitude, leadership, commitment, ownership, never give up, and sportsmanship. Throughout the day, the freshmen participate in various activities to help them further understand these values and so they get to know one another. The activities are led by teachers with help from Link Crew members.
Freshman Porschia MacConaghy said, “I really liked the freshman retreat it was super fun, totally worth doing all the homework that I missed. I met a lot of people and I loved the excitement and all the fun games we got to do there. It was just a super fun experience that I got to meet a whole bunch of people. We played this one game, where we had to give a gift to someone, and we all had to decide who the gift was. I was nominated but I really didn’t feel like I needed the gift, so all the people that were nominated, nominated someone else like not in the group. It was really fun to watch him and his surprise when he opened it. I would go again.” MacConaghy said.
History and psychology teacher Mike Shepherd attended the first session as a speaker and also led a group of students through the various activities. Shepherd said, “I enjoy the opportunity to talk to the new falcons especially being the old falcon in the building. It was fun to pass on some messages from our past and I am excited for what our future looks like.”
Freshman Alfred Chol said, “It was pretty fun, what we did there was we went in to groups. We introduced ourselves and we were able to create like structures to represent our school. We made our own chant. We created our own chant as a group, we made our own beat and a say, we were talking about falcon pride and we were able to get free shirts. I felt welcome, and I met a lot of new people I made a couple new friends. It was a different experience, I feel more welcome like being introduce to more people and having people I know in the group. We shared some similarities and we were able to learn more about each other.” Chol said.
Leadership teacher Gregory Kass is in charge of the organization of the day, along with Rick Chance. “It’s a great opportunity for the freshmen to come together as one, they come from different middle schools as you know. A lot of them come from Cedar Heights, we get probably 25% of our kids from Mattson, as well of course a few kids from Meeker, Meridian and of course the kids that move in from out of the district. It’s an opportunity for them to know one another that’s just a huge thing because they’re not timberwolves, mustangs or bull dogs they’re falcons. Chances to know one another are fantastic, not only do they get to know one another as far as their class of 2020, but also the fact they get to know upperclassmen in the falcon crew, link crew kids and leadership kids that are helping out. We also get the opportunity to get to know all the different people that make Kentlake great they would be freshman, seniors sophomores and junior, secretaries, security officers, administrators and teachers. Everyone is a part of the falcon family rather than they’re in the building as an adult, as a student, or a community member. It gives them the opportunity to do some fun something, be creative together, and learn about what it means to be a freshman, not only for the retreat that day or the first semester or their first year but for the next four years of their life. It really sets them up and they get different perspective from one another, from the upper classmen and from the adults. It’s a lot of fun; we scream and yell and have fun. We get some shirts and do some bad dancing, music and chanting. I love doing the freshman retreat, to be honest it’s a lot of work to put it together, but selfishly, I love to be in front of people and to interact with kids, and to get to do it with some of my good friends like Mr. Simmons. It’s like every year you think “oh that group was soo amazing, but every year new freshman come through, and there just as amazing so I love interacting, and having fun, and getting to know them at a different level because sometimes they see me as a guy as a shirt and tie at school who talks about their grades. I love the energy in their eyes; I’m going to be 50 and I still feel like I am a young kid of heart and so much of it… is the kids who bring it out of me.” Kaas said.