John Carroll opens doors to new and returning Patriots


Els Krimsky, Staff Writer

Despite entering the 2021-2022 school year with the lingering aspects of a pandemic, new and returning Patriots started the school year off with eagerness and purpose.

As the halls at John Carroll filled up with students, faculty, and staff for the third school year affected by COVID-19, it appeared only masks formed a barrier between the Patriot community and what is known as normalcy.
With one year working in the tight boundaries (figuratively, of course), the pandemic provided for educators, students found differences between this and last year’s protocols. Still, these changes did not stop from allowing an eventful first week back from summer vacation.
Orientation for new students took place on August 30 and consisted of an all-school tour, introductions to advisors and teachers, and yearbook photos. As nervous freshmen navigated the seemingly infinite hallways, some new Patriots immediately felt welcomed to the community.
“When I first came here, I thought it would be a really chill place,” explained Brooke Carroll, a member of the Class of 2025. “It turns out everyone’s really social here.”
However, not everyone had their new school nerves calmed within the first day. Another new student, Will Root, who attended Harford Day School prior to his arrival at John Carroll, described the change as “challenging.”
Following his first week of high school, Will no longer feels like an unfamiliar presence. “I got to meet a bunch of new people who were really nice to me.”
During the first week after orientation, only freshmen and sophomores began their year on August 31, and only juniors and seniors came in on September 1. Morning classes were scheduled for both days with a service project and games in the afternoon. However, the junior/senior entrance day was cut short due to the arrival of remnants of Hurricane Ida.
The summer of 2021 was seen as a return to normalcy after almost a year and a half of uncertainty, but unfortunately, those hopes were being crushed by the emerging Delta variant.
Seniors found themselves understanding school in the time of a global pandemic, but they were also rattled with the idea that their final year of high school depended on the unknown.
In the face of unpredictable COVID protocols, senior Rosalie McGuirk commented, “I think it’s definitely needed. Some parts are a little annoying, but it’s a small price to pay.”
Teachers are also working hard to adapt to the ever-changing conditions of the classroom.
Ms. Cathy Edge, a new addition to the World Language Department as a Spanish teacher, responded to the uniqueness of her situation as a new teacher during the pandemic. “It’s hard to be a new teacher and know what your students know coming in because you have to meet them where they are and take them where they’re supposed to be.”
Nonetheless, Ms. Edge remains optimistic in assimilating herself with her students and added, “I think everybody knows how to connect through their eyes and more physical gestures,” while emphasizing that it can also be more draining to interact in that manner as well.
Ready or not, the school year has officially started with no shortage of passion and tenacity.