Students get a glimpse of the future

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

The visit to the high school for a day is designed to get Hays Middle School eighth-graders a little more familiar with the building's surroundings. Give them an idea of what a day is like as a Hays High School student.

Tuesday's visit, rescheduled from last week because of a snowstorm, also had some of the upperclassmen reflecting on their high school careers.

"I remember what it was like when I was a freshman; I was so nervous," said senior Olivia Zody, a member of the Hays High leadership team that helped give tours to the students who will supplant them at HHS next fall.

Zody lost that nervousness long ago. Now, in addition to being one of the students nominated by coaches and activity sponsors to the leadership team this year, Zody also participates in Chamber Singers -- Hays High's select vocal and performance group -- as well as band, Science Olympiad and the school musical and play, to name a few activities.

"Oh, my, it's so important," Zody said of being involved in a variety of school activities. "Not only does it look good on your resume, you meet so many interesting people, not only from your school but from other places, too."

Zody said the leadership team's responsibilities Tuesday were to give tours of different classrooms, answer any questions the visitors might have and to make the HHS class of 2017 feel comfortable in their soon-to-be new surroundings.

Some of the questions from eighth-graders ranged from, "Do we get our own laptops?" to "Do we go to a homeroom right when we get to the school in the morning?"

One girl said, "There are so many people here I've never seen in my life."

Seniors Anna Shippy and Hannah Talkington led their group into the woodworking shop in the career and technical education area of the school, telling the youngsters taking these kinds of classes are fun because it's "kind of getting out of your comfort zone thing."

Eighth-grader Sierra Eichman gave the leadership team an A grade for how it handled the visit.

"I think they did an excellent job today," Eichman said. "I'm really looking forward to my freshman classes."

Eichman said she knows some of the freshmen since they were eighth-graders at her middle school last year.

"I think that will be helpful (in the fall)," she said.

HMS classmate Katie Brungardt agreed.

"I liked going into the classrooms and seeing what they did," Brungardt said. "I've been (at Hays High) for basketball games, but I'd never been in the classrooms."

Brungardt, like Eichman, is the oldest child in her family, so she is anxious to be the first to make the transition to high school. So much so she and her mom, Amy Brungardt, filled out her class schedule Tuesday night.

"I'm really looking forward to high school," Katie Brungardt said.

Most of the eighth-graders liked the visit to the cafeteria, where they were served lunch.

"There are a lot more choices here," said Donna Lubbers, one of the guidance counselors at HMS. "They'll like that."