A Warm Welcome for a New Class of Bears


Robert Bergin

Members of the Class of 2026 find their CP during Freshman Welcome.

Sydney Janik, Journalist

As the 2022-2023 school year begins, the Bishop Blanchet community has many new and exciting things to offer, one of those being the students themselves. As of Thursday, August 25th Blanchet has welcomed 276 new bears to the campus. The Frosh Welcome fosters a welcoming environment to teach the incoming class about our school and how it initiates them into the community. 

The freshmen had many opportunities for class bonding, including the freshman dance. They also got a warm welcome from the mentors as soon as they arrive with the spirit tunnel. Chuck Bocian, Vice Principal of Student Activities also had some thoughts on the new freshmen roaming the halls, saying “I think one of the positive things about the Freshman Welcome that we do is it helps to really establish the strong base for the freshman to be ready to come to school. You get two and a half days of it and they get a lot of onboarding and yes, is it still going to be a little confusing for them? Yeah, but each day will get a lot better for them.”

There were also many students and faculty that helped put this event together. From the class representatives to the sophomore grounds crew, everyone was able to pitch in and be a positive influence on the class of 2026. “It was very cool to get to know the freshmen and see them establish friendships throughout the Freshman Welcome,” said Nadia Kostecka, a Freshman welcome mentor. Cheerleader Sofia McGinnis also had a few thoughts on the Freshman Welcome, saying “They were very involved with the cheerleading chants and it definitely helped them understand what the culture is at Blanchet. It was just very supportive of our teammates and it also helps them so when they go to the first game they’re not in the unknown.” 

When asked, Freshman Welcome leader Heidi Pouley also gave some insight into what the Freshman Welcome truly does. “I like it, I think it’s really beneficial as far as just getting kids to be able to recognize at least one other face. They get to know their CP and even if they don’t get to know, they meet some new people,” said Pouley. 

Along with the leaders at the freshman welcome, freshmen themselves also shared what they thought of their warm welcome to Blanchet. Freshman Zandy Owens said, “I think it went really well, I really enjoyed the CP groups because I got to meet some people and it kind of bridged a gap between my other classes.” Zandy went on to say, “I also really enjoyed going through the school routine on the first day. Coming from a really small school with six people in the entire grade, it’s a very big school with a lot of people.” 

Overall, freshmen reported that the Freshman Welcome helped them experience new things and find a home in the Blanchet community. It’s so incredibly important for these students to not feel alone, and the Freshman Welcome does just that. Students also reported that it helped them meet new people and experience what a loving and compassionate community Bishop Blanchet is.