Nearly 500 new students at Douglas High |

Nearly 500 new students at Douglas High

by Caryn Haller

Link Crew and leadership students greeted sophomores with a cheer tunnel as they entered the newly remodeled gym Thursday.

Close to 500 new Douglas High School students turned out for sophomore orientation.

"We're doing this to make the sophomores and new students feel welcome and have school spirit," leadership student Nancy Valles said.

Principal Marty Swisher said the purpose of orientation is to familiarize new students with the school, as well as each other since some came from Pau-Wa-Lu and others from Carson Valley Middle School.

"We want them to have a positive experience right out of the gate," he said.

Swisher also encouraged students to come to him or any other staff member if they have any questions or concerns.

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"We are there for you, and we will be there everyday," he added. "We want you to be succesful at Douglas High School."

Sophomore Isabella Stamey's first experience at Douglas High School was to hug a total stranger and pop a balloon between them as part of a team-building exercise.

"It was pretty fun. It's a good experience to let sophomores know not to be afraid of new things," she said. "It's going to be awesome here. I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to be as involved as I can, but still focus on my studies."

Former Carson Valley Middle School student Brendyn Carpenter, 15, said he was excited to be at the high school.

"I'm happy to be at the high school and not at the middle school," he added. "The gym looks amazing, and I can't wait until the front is all finished. It will probably look good."

After mastering the pods at Pau-Wa-Lu the last three years, sophomore Lauryn DelPrete was nervous about navigating the high school.

"I'm excited because of the new school and new people," she said. "I'm a little nervous about finding my classes, but it will get easier."

The gym, where orientation was held, was completed, but work is still being done on the commons in preparation for the start of school on Monday.

"It's still a little chaotic," said senior and leadership student Blake Rodriguez. "I was expecting a little more to be done, but the gym looks great. I love what they've done. It is what it is, though."

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