Yosemite High School played host to more than 200 area 8th graders Jan. 14, showcasing the school's campus, academic programs, and the many extra-curricular opportunities students are offered at the school. The annual event serves as an orientation to Yosemite High for students who will become freshman in the upcoming school year.
This year, students attended from Oak Creek Intermediate, Wasuma Middle School, Rivergold Elementary, Coarsegold Elementary, and North Fork Elementary. Additionally, several home school students attended the showcase festival.
The day began with an opening assembly in the YHS Theater, during which school Principal Randy Seals welcomed the students who will comprise the Class of 2018. Students were introduced to YHS Student Activities Director Tammy Thacker, who encouraged the young students to ask questions of their student group leaders about what makes YHS such a dynamic place for students to attend.
Students were divided into groups, each group chaperoned by current Yosemite student leaders for tours of the campus, including classrooms, athletic facilities, the school office, cafeteria, library, aquatics facility, and the welding, automotive, and wood shops.
"All the students enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria prepared by the Yosemite food services staff," Seals said. "Several students proclaimed the lunch was so good, it was the highlight of the day."
After lunch, students were introduced to co- and extra-curricular programs currently active at YHS. Students were encouraged to sign up for those sports, clubs, and programs they were interested in.
The Badger Band and Percussion team provided music for the activity that was held in the Harry Baker Gymnasium. Clubs and programs present for the event included: Key Club, Interact, Leo's, cheer and pep squads, girls' basketball, football, Drama Club, Badger Business Club (Future Business Leaders of America chapter), Spanish Club, Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, Art Club, Future Farmers of America, International Club, California Cadet Corps, Badger Snowboarding Club, and the Yosemite Running Club.
The afternoon orientation concluded with a high-energy assembly in the YHS Theater. Students were treated to a raucous performance by the YHS Percussion team, followed by a comedic routine by the advanced theater arts class that demonstrated some of the differences that students could expect between daily life in middle school to that of high school.
"I feel the eighth grade students left YHS after the event, looking forward to attending Yosemite in the fall with fewer questions and much less anxiety as a result of already making connections with fellow YHS students, teachers, coaches, and staff," Seals said.