Libertyville High School hosts Eighth Grade Orientation


Carly Wagner

Dr. Tom Koulentes, the principal of Libertyville High School, along with juniors Anna Heard and Victoria Villanueva-Guzman, present to an audience of incoming freshman and their parents about the transition into high school.

On Jan. 10, Libertyville High School hosted its annual Eighth Grade Orientation, which informs incoming freshmen on what life is like for students, course selection and activities that they may become involved in.  

The main presentation was held in the auditorium, and it was filled with bright beams of light, smoke and music. Juniors Anna Heard and Victoria Villanueva-Guzman, members of the Student Council Executive Board, threw out t-shirts decorated with Wildcat pride into the audience. There were videos that showed LHS’ extracurricular programs, such as athletics, the arts, and academic clubs (among other activities), in order to inform the incoming students about the abundant amount of opportunities the school has to offer.

Shortly after the introduction, Dr. Tom Koulentes, the principal of LHS, spoke to the audience about how he was similar to the incoming freshmen. Relating to his soon-to-be students, he stated that he too was recently new to LHS and that he didn’t know anybody at the school before he came. Afterwords, he explained District 128’s Daring mission statement, an acronym that stands for Dreamers and Doers; Aware; Resilient and Healthy; Inquisitive; Nimble; and Global. Dr. K, as he is known by the students, added humor to his presentation and lightened the mood by joking around about his Twitter account.

Following Dr. Koulentes was Dr. Prentiss Lea, the district superintendent. He spoke about the academic success of the school district, which includes both Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School. Dr. Lea also emphasized the importance of parents engaging in a relationship with the school district to increase a student’s performance.

Mr. Ole Stevens, the student services director at LHS, discussed the online curriculum guide, the graduation requirements and the four-year academic guide. Mr. Stevens explained that both recommendations from eighth grade teachers and standardized test scores should be considered when scheduling courses. If there are questions about course selection, parents should contact the relevant department supervisor. It is important to note that all course selection forms for incoming freshmen should be returned by Feb. 15.

LHS Link Crew leaders Erin McCane, David Robertson and Villanueva-Guzman explained the Link Crew program. Junior and senior students who have been selected as Link Crew leaders establish a connection with the freshmen and aim to make the transition into a new school easier. This program covers a wide variety of topics, from homecoming to finals. Link Crew is mandatory for freshmen and takes place during half of their lunch periods on varying days of the week during first semester.

The presentation concluded with photos of all the incoming freshman displayed on the slideshow. Afterwords, the students were encouraged to explore the clubs, fine arts and sports being advertised in the main gym and cafeteria. At the stations set up, the soon-to-be ninth graders were able to learn more about activities that they would be able to participate in throughout the following years of high school. Many booths had poster boards showing photos of their clubs along with students at the stations explaining to the incoming freshmen what their activity has to offer.