Starting high school can be equal parts exciting and nerve-wracking for upcoming freshmen, so school administrators at Goldsboro High are trying to smooth the transition.
The school hosted a Freshman Sneak Peek event Monday morning, welcoming around 40 upcoming freshmen to meet school administration and tour the campus.
The event began around 9 a.m., with a presentation by GHS administrators and Operation Unite Goldsboro founder Mark Colebrook.
Assistant Principal Kenneth Sumler spoke to the students about planning for their futures, regardless of what their goals for after graduation are. He said that every student in the room had the ability to graduate if they stayed focused and took advantage of the resources available to them.
Sumler looked around the room, asking how many in attendance wanted to go to college after they graduate. A wave of hands shot up, followed by smaller groups for those intending to join the military or the workforce. Sumler said that each group could find resources at GHS to help them achieve those goals.
"People who have graduated from this school have gone on to play in the NFL, to be authors and lawyers, the mayor of this city," he said. "You are now part of that history."
Sumler encouraged the students to join clubs and take part in extracurricular activities, which are expected to expand at the school this year.
"The most important thing is to be part of it," he said, referring to the school culture.
Marcia Manning, GHS principal, told the students that they should focus on making decisions which would make them proud to look back on. She gave her personal cellphone number to every student in attendance, and asked them all to text her pictures of themselves doing something that their future selves would be proud of.
Ms. Manning said the event is a good way to get the new students acclimated to the potentially intimidating school.
"We have about 40 or 45 kids here, which is about a third of the incoming class," she said. "The thing about it is, this campus is huge, and open house is usually kind of a cram as everyone comes in. We wanted to give the kids who wanted it an opportunity to see the campus before there are so many people."
The students then grouped up with GHS juniors and seniors, all of whom were members of the National Honor Society, to tour the building. Each student received their class schedule so they could identify their classes as they walked.
Richard Young Jr., 14, walked down the hallway with his father, Richard Young Sr. While the elder Young was hoping to be able to get some paperwork done ahead of time, he was happy to give his son the chance to get used to the school he himself graduated from in 1997.
Asked if anything had changed, Young smiled.
"The paint," he said with a laugh.
The younger of the Youngs said he was excited for high school, and was not feeling too nervous. He said he was ready to try out a wide variety of classes.
"I'm excited for the whole experience," he said.