CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – A throng of students swarmed a table Thursday evening on the front lawn of John Jay High School, looking to sign up for a tour of the building that will be their new academic home for the next four years.
John Jay’s incoming freshmen and their parents were on campus to partake in the school’s annual potluck supper and building tour, an orientation of sorts designed to get the students ready for next Wednesday – the first day of the school year.
Assistant John Jay High School principal Lisa Kor smiled and shook her head as she took it all in.
“This is my 17th potluck supper,” Cor said, helping to hand out name tags. “Our peer leaders (upper classmen) are here to take the kids on a tour and sort of give them the lay of the land. It’s one of the ways we help transition the eighth-graders to the high school.”
The event is co-sponsored by the high school and its Parent Teacher Organization. Lisa Glenn, the PTO co-president, was on hand to assist the peer leaders and help the excited students and their parents through the sign-up process.
Many of the new high school students said they were excited and anxious for their impending move, but weren't nervous or intimidated.
“I’m not nervous at all,” said Kayla Fisher as she waited for her tour to begin. “I know a lot of the older kids already because of sports. But this is exciting.”
Megan Herdrich said she has a sister in high school, which makes her transition easier.
“She kind of told me what to expect, so I’m looking forward to it,” she said.
Dave and Elisa Zuckerberg were there with their son, Gabe. They said they already have a daughter in high school, so they've been through this process before.
“It’s not so much [the transition to the high school] but the grind of the school work that has [Gabe] anxious,” Elisa Zuckerberg. “But I warned him that he needs to take the tour. The building is kind of complicated and it can be hard to find your way around. But he’s kind of excited by all this and thinks he’ll finally be treated as an older individual and is looking forward to the independence.”
Andrea Kantor, a teacher at Lewisboro Elementary School, had a two-fold reason for attending the potluck supper. She was helping Kor ready the dishes that had been lined up along a series of tables on the front lawn of the school, but also noted she had a daughter who was an incoming freshman and was taking a tour
“She is so excited,” Kantor said. “I think the kids love this district. But having a parent who is a teacher probably takes the edge off [the move to high school].”