Mariner community extends warm welcome at Freshman Orientation

Students and parents, eager and nervous, walked up to the Grand Pavilion on Monday to check in the for the 2015-2016 Freshmen Orientation. As they were greeted by Monsignor Torgerson, President Thom Gasper, Principal Michele Rice, members of the administration, ASB representatives, teachers, coaches and other members of the St. Monica community, the incoming freshmen and transfer students were instantly put at ease, and any tension was replaced with excitement. "I was nervous, but now I'm excited to start the year and meet my teachers," said Kailie, a junior transfer.

While some are brand new to the school, others are following a long legacy of past Mariners. Jonah, a freshman, has one sister who was a recent graduate, and another sister who is a senior. He knew many of the teachers by name, and seemed to be familiar with the campus already. However, no matter how prepared one is, starting the first year of high school is a dramatic transition. Luckily, the ASB, led by Activities Director Bridget Nuno, pulled out all the stops to make Monday's event informative and welcoming.

Students started with a greeting from the administration in the Grand Pavilion, followed by a quick warm-up game in the yard to meet their small groups and student leaders. Each group then visited different departments of the school for interactive presentations, led by the student leaders and staff directors. At the midway point, students took a snack and drink break while Mariners showed their gifts during a Talent Tuesday demonstration in the school yard.

After the last rotation, Msgr. Torgerson led the students and parents in Mass in the chapel. He highlighted the importance of joining not only the school community, but the parish community at large. "I am your pastor for the next four years," he said with a smile. "You are welcome here." After Mass, parents joined the students for dinner in the school yard, compliments of the Advancement department. It was a fitting end to a day of new beginnings and the start of a great journey for our new Mariners.