More than 500 parents and visiting eighth-grade students perused Copperas Cove High School for the annual open house Monday.

Set up throughout the cafeteria and hallways where curious eighth-graders strolled, were student organization tables overflowing with pamphlets and information.

“I wore this coat because I really wanted an excuse to wear it,” said David Lautenschlager, senior CCHS Thespian Club member, while touting a black fur coat and shaking a staff at potential new club members.

The noise was deafening, and at times overwhelmed-looking S.C. Lee Junior High and Copperas Cove Junior High students clogged the hallways in front of a classroom or table. But there’s a method to the madness, according to CCHS faculty.

“The initial reason this all started is to get incoming ninth-graders plugged into the Bulldawg family and community, so we don’t lose them,” said Krystal Meredith, sponsor for Bulldawg Link Crew and ninth-grade Algebra teacher.

Bulldawg Link Crew, one of the many student organizations at the event, helps ease the transition between middle school and high school.

The organization hosts several events throughout the summer and school year. It also pairs incoming freshman with student mentors that can help answer questions.

The organization is in its second year, and Meredith said she can already see a difference in the level of student involvement.

“It’s my thing to go around and help people,” said CCHS Junior Selena Romero, who is involved in student council and link crew.

Meanwhile his friend, fellow eighth-grader Camden Rhodes is just looking forward to joining sports.

“They’re able to go to the classrooms, each classroom, and talk to students in organizations,” said Irene Chavez, whose daughter is an eighth-grader as S.C. Lee Junior High. “By them having this open house, it won’t be like it’s their first day [at school] anymore.”

Contact Courtney Griffin at or 254-501-7559

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