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SHS Showcase welcomes freshmen

April 23, 2012

For Savannah Hobart, SHS Showcase is bittersweet.

Hobart is a senior at Starkville High School, and she gave several incoming freshmen and their parents tours of the school at SHS Showcase. She is involved in many of the programs she introduced freshmen to, she said, and while she is excited to start at Mississippi State University, she is sad to leave SHS.

"I'm going to miss Starkville High," Hobart said. "I'm hoping to leave something behind with the freshmen and the rest of the underclassmen. I just hope they make the best of it like I did."

Starkville High School held its annual SHS Showcase Monday, introducing incoming freshmen to the school's programs, teachers, students, accolades and talents.

Visitors were also able to see performances by the SHS Jazz Band, the SHS Singers and the SHS String Band, among others. Keith Fennell, SHS principal, said he is well aware that even as freshmen were saying hello, seniors were saying goodbye.

"The seniors look forward to this because it may be their final effort to promote all of the activities," Fennell said. "They're the ones that can look back on it and reflect and just really enjoy their experience. They like to share that with the upcoming ninth graders."

Fennell said the event also has a third purpose. Every semester, he said, there is a two-hour window where parents can pick up their children's progress reports and, if desired, talk to teachers about their children's progress.

"(SHS Showcase) still serves as our four-term progress report distribution, but also to introduce the upcoming ninth graders to all the extracurricular things that are going on, and what Starkville High School has to offer," Fennell said. "Teachers are a little harder to find tonight because so many of them are involved in organizations, groups and activities, but (in the) first, second and third term, they're in their classrooms and accessible for parent conferences."

Fennell said he was impressed with the event's results and the faculty's efforts to make SHS Showcase a success.

"Each year, it seems to be more and more attended," Fennell said. Without any preliminary numbers now, I'm almost confident we've had more this year than we've had in the past."

Fennell said he was also proud of students who help with the event, including the Jackets in Motion handing out brochures and the SHS Student Government Association serving as tour guides. Hobart said she was glad to help, and she wanted to make freshmen comfortable and aware of SHS's many programs.
"It's more than just going to school," Hobart said. "It's always good to be a part of something."

Hobart said she herself is a swimmer, cheerleader, golfer and more at SHS, which offers clubs not only for athletes, but also programs in band, service and academics.
"We're just a very diverse school," Hobart said. "Everybody has somewhere that they can feel like a part of."

One incoming freshmen, Cameron Maddox, said he saw about 40 of his friends at SHS Showcase, which he enjoyed. He said SHS Showcase was his first time on the SHS campus, and he has taken an interest in the math club.

"I know a couple of people in it," Maddox said. "I'm taking Algebra II and Geometry next year."

Preston Booth, another incoming freshman, said he was transferring to SHS. He said he was attracted to SHS's classes, clubs, fine arts programs and the Millsaps Career and Tech Center.

"I'll probably be doing band and maybe some computer classes," Booth said. "I've actually toured (SHS) two times before."

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