By Chris McGuinness
Killeen Daily Herald
When asked how he feels about making the change from middle school to high school, 14-year-old Victor Price echoes the feelings of many of his peers.
"It's a little nerve-wracking and kind of exciting, too," he said.
Price was one of more than 500 freshmen at Shoemaker High School who were invited, along with their parents, to attend an orientation event Thursday.
"We wanted to welcome our new students and help them feel prepared for starting high school," said Auby Cullars, the school's assistant principal.
The theme of this year's orientation was Leadership for Tomorrow in Our Community, said Cullars. The event included a number of break-out sessions for students and their parents, a tour of the school and information about the school's code of conduct, dress code, extracurricular activities and clubs.
The students also were asked to write a letter to themselves, which Cullars said would be delivered to them in four years when they are seniors.
"We asked them to write about where they want to be in four years and what they want to achieve," she said.
This year, members of several clubs, such as JROTC and Student-2-Student, were on hand to help assist with the sessions and work with the freshmen.
"We are here to help show them around, and introduce them to the school and how things work," said Madi Woodard, a junior at Shoemaker.
"We're here to answer any questions they have and help them feel better about starting high school."
Dominique Jefferson, a member of Student-2-Student and a Shoemaker senior, said she remembered the excitement, and worry, of starting high school.
"I was excited and a little scared, too," she said. "I think (freshman orientation) definitely helps you get over that fear a little bit, because you can make friends and when you show up on the first day of school, you don't feel alone."
For freshman Ahmed Wilson, the efforts of the older students and the school administrators were helpful.
"It's definitely been helpful," said Wilson. "I'm actually looking forward to starting school."
Shoemaker's orientation was the first of several which will be held at all of the Killeen Independent School District's high schools as students get closer to returning to school Aug. 27.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.
KISD freshmen and new student orientation:
Thursday, Aug. 16
Last names A-L: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Last names M-Z: 1 to 4 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17: noon to 3 p.m.
Killeen High School
Saturday, Aug. 18: registration 9 to 9:30 a.m.; activities run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For more information about orientation and readiness days for other KISD students, go to www.killeenisd.org.