The halls of Harborfields High School were swarmed with students as upperclassmen led incoming freshmen on individualized tours of the school as part of the district’s High School Buddy Program on Aug. 29. 

Incoming students initially gathered in the auditorium, whereas upperclassmen, including juniors and seniors, met in the gymnasium for instruction. In the auditorium, new students were greeted by High School Principal Timothy Russo and Susan Koenig, the school’s social worker, who encouraged the students to get involved in the school’s array of clubs and activities.

Immediately afterwards, the freshmen made their way to the gymnasium where they were divided into smaller groups based on their interests in clubs or sports. Clubs represented at the event included Global Justice, Yearbook and Art, whereas sports included lacrosse, soccer and football. The leaders of those groups then led tours of the school to help familiarize the freshmen with their schedules and the school’s layout.

Connor Dillon, a senior and member of the Pet Awareness Club, and Mia Kushner, a junior and member of the Math Club, both volunteered a day of their summer because they recalled the anxiety that they felt upon entering their freshman year. 

“It was great when I was a freshman,” Kushner said. “It’s exciting to be on the other side of it.”

Following the tours, Mr. Russo added that it’s important for students to begin building relationships as soon as possible. “The best way to get that started is before school even starts,” he said.