Junior Reza Mirzaiee paints at the Freshmen Orientation in order to promote the GCM art department. “I was projecting a medieval rendition of my IB English teacher, Mr. Macindoe onto the canvas,” Mirzaiee said.
Junior Reza Mirzaiee paints at the Freshmen Orientation in order to promote the GCM art department. “I was projecting a medieval rendition of my IB English teacher, Mr. Macindoe onto the canvas,” Mirzaiee said.

Student Services held its annual Freshmen Orientation on Feb 8 to introduce the class of 2021 to their high school career and the course requirements to follow an IB track.

The event laid out every curricular and extracurricular activity with the hope of creating a welcoming atmosphere for prospective students.

“Tonight is all about choosing what they’re going to take next year and to make sure they’ve taken things into consideration, like balancing life,” Student Services Director Cindy Blakeley said.

But students weren’t the only focus of the night. Families were also a focal point of the event, with many of the presenters focusing their booths on information that parents consider crucial to their child’s success.

“Another important thing they get to learn at the freshmen transition program is that it can help the student [and their family] get the feel for the high school environment so they’re comfortable when they get here,” Student registrar Suzanna Pangilinan said.

Langley School eighth grader Grace Kellermen expressed satisfaction with the organization of the event, which engaged both parents and prospective students in the introduction of their future classes.

“I was at McLean last night and Marshall’s is much better,” Kellermen said. “It’s much more welcoming and organized. There are more students, teacher and administrators [making it] more interactive and interesting.”

Many of the curricular presentations outlined the courses the students would be taking in their high school career, with a focus on informing them of the IB track.

“I want them to know that they have options to take standard level and honors level, but that both courses in the ninth grade are gonna give them the opportunity to move into the IB track later in Marshall,” social studies department chair Dean Wood said.

The night established the necessary steps rising freshmen would need to take in order to qualify for the IB Diploma. Luther Jackson eighth grader Drew Hiller said attending the event gave him insight into what Marshall and the IB Diploma would be like.

“It’s a good experience, I’m getting to know people, I’m getting to know classes and what I need to pass and get the IB diploma,” Hiller said.

By the end of the night, the rising freshmen received a candid picture of what attending high school would be like.