Article by Sean Ronan ’20:
On March 24, 2018, Kellenberg Memorial High School hosted its annual orientation for newly accepted freshmen of the class of 2022. The class currently numbers 547 students. The orientation is a way to introduce incoming students and their parents to the school so that they can see what Kellenberg Memorial has to offer during their four years as members of the Firebird family.
The event began with a presentation in the auditorium from one of the members of the faculty. At its conclusion, students went into the gymnasium where they were introduced to some faculty members, different clubs such as the Jazz Band and Blue and Gold, and other aspects of the school along with a few invigorating presentations by current students.
The future freshmen were also provided an overview of the Triple-A program that will occur in August before the start of the school year in September, which will allow students to further get acquainted with the school and their classmates. Parents remained in the auditorium to be addressed by Brother Kenneth Hoagland S.M., the principal of the school, and other members of the administration for an introduction to the Kellenberg philosophy and mission. At the cessation of both presentations, students and parents were invited to the auditorium for refreshments and to ask current students and faculty members any questions they had.
Mr. John Benintendi, the Assistant Principal for Admissions, says that his goal was, “to provide important information about the history, academics, apostolic life, athletic teams and activities available at Kellenberg Memorial High School.” He went on to say, “Freshman year is aimed at educating our students into the philosophy of our school, helping them adjust to the rigors of a high school education, and to help them find their place and comfort level both in and out of the classroom.” Further, he stated, “Our mission as teachers is to educate our students in a way that helps them to develop the skills necessary to learn. In particular, we provide an education aimed at helping students to learn how to organize, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information in a coherent way. We work to be a strong Catholic role model for our students to show through our actions the importance of living our faith and to show them that mercy and compassion are important elements in their lives. We work to provide an atmosphere that educates, an environment based on civility, order, and respect (C.O.R.), and a community. As long as a student opens themselves to these ideas they will be prepared not only for higher education but for a contented and joyful life.”
Mrs. Ruth Marconi, an English teacher and Assistant Director of Guidance, also described her goal in the orientation: “My hope is to help students have a more 360º view of Kellenberg Memorial High School…My job is amazing in that I see students as they begin the journey of high school, I watch them develop their interests, passions, and talents along the way, and then I have the gift of helping them discern the next step in their lives,” she went on to say.
Mrs. Marconi also said that at Kellenberg, “each unique talent or interest can be cultivated, but more than that, the relationships that are developed through shared interests will often last a lifetime. Students will be invited to try many new things and to begin the process of understanding themselves as students. This means striking the right balance between academics, social relationships, athletics, and interests. These are all good opportunities for growth.”
Alexandra Navarette, one member of the incoming class of 2022 who currently attends St. Christopher’s School in Baldwin, described her experience at Kellenberg Memorial High School’s freshman orientation on Saturday: “After being able to see the various aspects of Kellenberg and the multiple activities that I will be able to be a part of at the school during my high school career, I know that I will succeed academically, strengthen my spirituality, and grow as I venture out and experience different aspects of the school throughout my four years here. I can truly see why Kellenberg considers itself ‘the school that never sleeps’ – there’s just so much to do!”
Overall, Kellenberg Memorial High School’s freshman orientation allowed incoming students a better insight of their future at the school as a part of the Kellenberg family. Students and parents were truly wowed as they learned more about what their future holds at the school.