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Upcoming seventh-graders get acquainted with middle school

by Scott Neuffer
sneuffer@recordcourier.com

Carson Valley Middle School Registrar Leslie Bunting described the keen, nervous energy of the new school year by invoking a quote from the film “You’ve Got Mail.”

” ‘A bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils,'” Bunting reminisced from the front office.

“And a hint of fall,” she said. “The seventh-graders will be coming in, and before we know it, they’ll be ninth-graders leaving us. But it’s nice to see growth in the kids.”

Although secondary school doesn’t start until Monday, the middle school opened its doors Tuesday morning for its annual seventh-grade orientation. Hundreds of former sixth-graders, with parents in tow, crowded the entryway to pick up class schedules before dispersing across the campus.

“They do look a little lost,” commented CVMS ninth-grader Leslie Wright, one of about 25 National Junior Honor Society members handing out schedules and giving tours.

“I remember,” she said. “It’s a little bit overwhelming. Back then, it was intimidating for me, too. You come from a little school, and then you get overwhelmed by the lockers and bigger halls. I remember coming down, seeming really small, but then I was helped out by the older kids, and it was less terrifying.”

Leslie had some advice for her new classmates.

“Don’t be afraid to branch out,” she said. “Seventh-grade is finally an opportunity to make a name for yourself. And don’t worry about the teachers. We have nice staff here.”

Etienne Lekumberry, 12, was cruising the halls with mom Lisa and dad J.B.

“I’m nervous about everything,” Etienne said.

Fortunately, he’ll have the guidance of his older sister Anna, a freshman.

“I am looking forward to having a locker,” Etienne said. “I think it’s pretty cool.”

Kevin Hausman was also touring around with his oldest son Wyatt. A 1996 Douglas High graduate and CVMS alumnus, Hausman recalled what it was like to transition to the middle school.

“I was feeling nervous, too,” he said. “But the first few weeks go by, and then you start blending in. It will be a good change for him, the next step up.”

Wyatt, 12, said he was looking forward to science and sports medicine.

“I like it so far,” he said. “All the halls are closer together than I thought. I’m not running around the whole school.”

William Lento Jr., 12, wasn’t so sure about the campus layout.

“I think that it’s really big, and it will take a while to get used to it,” he said.

Nonetheless, he was excited about his culinary arts class.

“The hardest part will be getting used to the classrooms and the lockers,” he said. “The best part will be seeing people I know from different schools and interacting with them.”

Mother Barbara Lento summed up what all parents might have been feeling.

“It feels kind of weird that he’s moving on and becoming independent,” she said. “Pretty soon, he’ll be grown and going to high school, and I’ll have more gray hair. By the time college comes, my hair will be pure white.”

Despite the future color of her hair, Lento expressed great joy in watching her only child grow up.

“It’s really great,” she said. “I’m happy for him, and I’m proud of him.”