More studious? Freshman Alaydrianna Jones hunkers down in the library.
Photo By Jasmine Moody
by Anastasia Walton
They’re not the targets of balloons full of honey and feathers. Instead, praise is heaped on them. So far.
The new freshman class at McClymonds is larger than last year’s, more committed to academics (and sports) and punctual, according to teachers and administrators.
“For freshmen, they have a great habit of being on time, but what I need to see is more focus and less immaturity,” said PE teacher Jeremy Namkung.
There are 90 freshman at McClymonds this year, 10 more freshman than last year, says principal Tinisha Hamberlin. A small group of 25 freshman who had to attend summer school at McClymonds as eighth graders got an early feel for the “School of Champions.”
The reasons for enrolling at McClymonds range from family tradition to excellence in sports. Although McClymonds has a stronger STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program, it was not an apparent factor for students in choosing McClymonds, says Katherine Hall, STEM teacher.
“I chose to come to Mack because it’s close to home and it has the best sports records,” said Rayshawn Lawrence, who attended Westlake Middle School and plans to play football as a Warrior.
For some, tradition goes back several generations. “So far I like Mack, it is not as bad as people try to make it seem,” said Tonisha Smith, who attended Westlake Middle School last year, “I came to Mack because my grandmother came here.”
For others it was a matter of logistics, mainly commuting. “I had no choice in whether or not I was attending Mack or not. My mom made me come here since it was close to home, but so far I really love all my new teachers and the new friends I have made here, ” said Tatyana Jones.
Freshmen enthusiasm has spread to those who work with them. Head of security Donald Mann said that he has to talk to 85% of the freshman class about adjusting to the demands of high school. He says this is not unusual because freshman are used to their middle school’s immature ways. He labeled this class “one of the best freshman classes I’ve seen in 15 years.”