DERRY — They are the new kids, making friends and finding their way around.
Alexis Ferreira, now officially a Pinkerton freshman, was thinking about her first day of high school. She was hoping to spend time with her middle school friends and also making new ones.
She was among hundreds of incoming freshman at Pinkerton Academy who spent a day last week getting to know each other and finding their way around the high school campus, part of the school’s eighth annual Freshmen Field Day.
Administrators, student volunteers and other staff members gathered at the Derry high school to help members of the Class of 2017 become acclimated to their new campus.
Danville-based organization Adventurelore has been facilitating team-building and self-esteem exercises at the field day events for several years.
For Alexis, it was time to learn the ropes.
“Being a new freshman, it’s hard,” she said.
The 14-year-old attended Gilbert H. Hood Middle School. She had lunch with a former classmate, Haley Ferrell, 14, after taking a campus tour and getting student identification photos taken.
For the expected 700-plus new ninth-graders this year, it was a day spent preparing to hit the campus running once high school opens later this month.
The event was moved in to the Hackler Gym, due to the forecast.
It’s not mandatory, but attendance is always strong.
By the end of the third of four sessions, nearly 450 students were involved.
“The school promotes it really well,” Derry district high school coordinator Rich Flagg said. “It takes a little edge off.”
Student Council members and class officers also pitch in, Flagg said, to help new students find their bearings.
William Lonergan, Pinkerton’s associate dean of students, has spearheaded the freshman event since the start along with other administrators and class advisors.