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SHS freshmen get help making transition

One of the team activities during the freshman retreat was passing a hula hoop around a group of students while the students were all holding hands. (Photo by Dave Newman)1 / 2
Karen Hale, a mother from Hudson whose daughter died from a drug addiction started by the use of prescription drugs, gave a stirring speech to the Somerset freshmen on the dangers of drugs. (Photo by Dave Newman)2 / 2

The transition from the middle school to high school can be daunting for freshmen. Somerset High School commits a day early in the school year to help the freshmen find an easier transition to the high school.

The third annual SHS Freshman Retreat was held last Wednesday at St. Croix National Golf Course. Sarah Colling, District Chemical Health Prevention Specialist, was one of the organizers of the event.

“The purpose of the retreat this year was to really focus on breaking down social barriers between our students and bring them together as a class celebrating their individuality as well as their role in the school and in their class,” Colling said.

Making positive choices was the focus of the morning session. The students were encouraged to take account for their own actions. The day was a mix of fun activities and intense programs and speeches.

The SOS Players performed a series of powerful and moving skits about issues that many teenagers face. Their message was that students are not alone and even though they may feel alone, there are people available to support them.

The students heard a powerful speech from Hudson mother Karen Hale. Hail’s daughter died earlier this year. The 21-year-old died of a drug overdose. Her addiction began when she was being treated with prescription drugs.

“A very moving story about the tough consequences of making poor choices and the impact those choices have on everyone not just an individual,” Colling said.

During the lunch, SHS upperclassmen shared their experiences with the younger students and on how to get involved in the high school.

The afternoon was spent in a program called “Flip It Forward.” The freshmen worked in small groups with upperclassmen on how to develop deeper relationships with their peers.

“Students had the opportunity to share about their strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities related to school,” Colling said. “The day was full of activity and games all of which brought our freshmen and leaders (including staff) together to start the year off in a positive and uplifting way.”

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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