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The Communicator

A New Focus: Opening Day 2023

CHS gathers together at St. Andrew’s Church for its annual celebration of Opening Day.
Daniel Ging
Ryan Silvester and Joslyn Hunscher-Young walk through St. Andrew’s church, filled to bursting with students celebrating Opening Day. Teachers and other personnel were introduced by the Forum Council presidents with a departmental strut down the aisle. “It’s really helpful to introduce new teachers,” Kinga Jung said.

The church filled to the sound of smooth jazz, a contrast to the hymns that typically echoed through the space, as CHS students and teachers lined the pews.

CHS settled smoothly back into its Opening Day routine, despite it being only the second year since the pandemic forced the district online. Ex- cited conversations and laugh- ter radiated along N. Division St., as the student body filed down the road and under the arches of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Serena O’Brien (left), Kyrie Garwood (middle) and Allison Mayer (right) introduce Ecology Club.

“I’m super hyped,” said Ellie Maloy, senior. Her sentiments towards the school year start- ing were reflected by many of her fellows, including Leila Bank, senior.

“Summer is scary because there’s no structure,” Bank

said. “School helps me to have structure.” She’s looking for- ward to the “good stress” of be- ing back to school — knowing what she needs to do and when to do it makes it easier to get things done.

Once all several hundred stu- dents were seated, the ceremony began. Dean Marci Tuzinsky welcomed new students, then passed the microphone over to Forum Council presidents Morgan McClease and Isabella Jacob, and vice president Addi Hinesman. The three served as emcees of the event.

Miles McDonald (left) and Grey Phillips (right) introduce Film Club.

In time-honored tradition, teachers were introduced by department, dancing with vary- ing levels of enthusiasm down

the central aisle to thunderous applause.

The presidents also an- nounced the school-wide focus for the school year: forum.

“After COVID-19, a lot of forums lost their familial con- nection,” said Lina Bailey, CHS junior and Forum Council rep- resentative. Due to that loss, many forums are less tightly bonded. Forum Council hopes to resurrect the spirit of forum by introducing additional fo- rum bonding events, including an inaugural Fall Field Day.

Although forum is a key part of forming connections, dozens of clubs offer countless opportunities for students to find a place in the community.

Over 25 leaders and representa- tives took the lectern to rouse interest in their groups.

From long-running and well-loved classics like Ecology Club to brand new groups like pickleball club, all hit the new year running with an elevator pitch to the whole school.

After the festivities of Open- ing Ceremony concluded, stu- dents returned to their forum rooms, where the day had been kicked off with many forums having breakfast together be- fore heading to the church. Tia Cocciolone, a sophomore, was welcomed back to the Yag- er forum with donuts. Ella Hamalainen, a freshman, en- joyed her first Brent forum pancake breakfast. Back in forums, students were divid- ed into groups for a scavenger hunt designed to help incom- ing students get their bearings and make connections with their peers.

“I got to bond with the new freshman without feeling the pressure of being in a big group,” Cocciolone said. Be- yond bonding, the scavenger hunt provided an early oppor- tunity for upperclassmen to impart the wisdom they’ve gar- nered over the last several years.

“I can remember looking up at the seniors when I was a freshman,” said senior Charlie Rosenfeld. “I’ve had a lot of ex- periences in high school, and I’m ready to kind of transfer what I’ve learned to younger people.” As a senior, Rosenfeld feels he can be helpful in the same way that seniors and old- er students were to him when he was a freshman. Those con- nections, born out of a genuine desire to support each other, are what forum, and communi- ty, is all about.

“Although school does have some struggles, it really brings students together,” said soph- omore Sam Magee. Although the start to the school year still feels surreal, she’s excited to continue growing into herself and making connections with the people around her.

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About the Contributor
Serena O'Brien
Serena O'Brien, Print Editor-in-Chief
This is Serena's third year of journalism, and her second year as a Print Editor-in-Chief. She loves to be outside, whether that's running, hiking, biking, swimming, or just lazing around in the sun. Work takes precedent though, so you're more likely to find her writing, editing, doing copious amounts of math homework, or taking a break to play her mobile game of the week. She is beyond excited for another year in Room 300!

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