Sixth-graders signed autographs, slapped high-fives and posed for selfies with screaming fans as they strolled into Marshall Middle School on Monday – a red-carpet welcome organized by teachers and staff.
“We want them to feel important and excited to be here at Marshall,” said assistant principal Leslianne Craft. “It’s a great highlight of the year.”
Monday was orientation day for sixth- and ninth-graders in Wichita schools, a chance for newbies to learn their way around before upperclassmen crowd the hallways. Tuesday is the first day for most students.
Makenna Ransom, 11, said she was nervous for her first day, but feeling hopeful.
“I bet we’ll learn how to get everywhere, and we’ll meet people,” she said.
Ronald Stubbs, principal at Marshall, greeted each student at the end of the red carpet outside the school and then addressed them in the auditorium. The American Authors tune, “Best Day of My Life,” blared over the loudspeakers.
“Every day that you come to Marshall Middle School can be the best day of your life,” Stubbs said. “Every day is about improving yourself, getting to learn and being successful.
“Every day you walk through the doors, we want you to be excited, energetic and full of life – ready to learn, ready to work hard. And every now and then you get to have a little fun, too.”
Jack Ewings, a literacy intervention teacher, danced to the music beside the red carpet, stopping youngsters every now and then to ask for their autograph or take their picture.
“The kids are a little embarrassed, but they gotta get over that because it’s middle school now,” he said. “I’m just trying to get some autographs from these superstars.”