“I’m really excited,” Largent said. “I definitely won’t be the younger one anymore. I get to be the top dog.”
As the estimated 2,000 students poured onto the campus of Brentwood’s oldest high school, anything but being in a classroom and learning was on their minds.
As freshman Jeremy Fenczik sauntered on to the grounds of his new school, his mind was still reliving summer vacation. “I went air-chairing,” Fenczik said after finding two friends near the school’s parking lot. “There’s a hydrofoil, a blade and a wakeboard-type thing, except it is like a ski. There’s a place for your feet and a place to sit. You get strapped in, pulled by the boat and you hydrofoil out of the water. You’re like in the air on a chair.”
Sophomore Bry’anna Wallace arrived at school with cousin and freshman Michael Thomas – for the first time since middle school. While she relished being on the same campus with him again, her thoughts turned to his safety. “I got my cousin’s back.” Wallace said. “If you’re talking about my cousin, you’re talking about me. In middle school, I kept getting in trouble because I stuck up for my family no matter what.”
Campus supervisor Jami Gallardo greeted students filtering in from the school entrance. Just 30 minutes into her shift, she had already told a few dozen students to hang their ID cards around their necks – but it couldn’t choke her enthusiasm for the day.
“It’s very exciting to be back,” Gallardo said. “I’m excited to see the new faces and the old faces. Everybody is really excited to be here, and we’re having a good time so far.”
Senior Bruce Mitchener tried to create a welcoming atmosphere for his fellow students as they arrived. The leadership student went from trees to garbage cans to any object he could hang balloons from in his mission to spark school spirit.
Before long, the spark grew into anticipation for the school’s upcoming events. Conversations among students ranged from the upcoming back-to-school dance to a water fight set up for after school by Link Crew. “I think it is exciting,” said Interim Assistant Principal Larry Rodriguez. “The freshmen are a little nervous, but other than that, it’s good to be back.”
Freshman Ryan Konrath admitted he was one of the nervous ones. As he stood next to fellow freshmen, he wondered what his teachers were going to be like. “I’m going to try to get on their good sides.” Konrath said.
As the tardy bell rang, a few students still milled about as if in a daze. Campus Supervisor CJ Leveque tried to round up the stragglers, sending them in all directions.
“It’s a little hectic right now,” said Leveque, “but we’ll pan out all right.”