Class of 2026 begins journey with two-day orientation


Allison Coyne, Managing Editor

As new students joined the John Carroll community, they had the opportunity to spend two days learning what it means to be a Patriot. Freshman orientation took place on Monday, September 29 and Tuesday, September 30.

English Teacher Lindsey Galicki, who coordinated the summer reading portion of the event explained, “The reason orientation was split into two days is because there was just so much to do.”

The first day was focused on traditional orientation activities including setting up laptops, meeting faculty and staff, finding classrooms, and learning how to read schedules.

Freshman Penelope Street said, “I really liked orientation being split into two days because I didn’t feel rushed. I liked how it was spaced out, so we got a good look at the building for the actual first day of school.”

The biggest change to orientation this year took place on Tuesday. The day was focused on the freshman summer reading book, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.

Ms. Galicki said, “Students learned about the book’s connection to our mission and academic life here through immersive sessions with six of our school’s departments: English, Social Studies, Religion, Math, Science, and World Languages.”

The second day of orientation ended with an afternoon of fun bonding activities for the Class of 2026.

After lunch, they enjoyed an ice cream social and Patriot games with Assistant Principal Jake Hollin.

Finally, a prayer service was led by the Director of Mission & Ministry Ken Goedeke.

Mr. Goedeke said, “It was important for the freshman class to come together as a class to pray. At the heart of our school is our Catholic faith.”

At the end of the service, each freshman got a paper foot to symbolize their walk in their Patriot journey and to answer questions such as “What are you most excited about as you begin your journey as a Patriot?” The students then hung them up on the wall.

Members of the Student Government Association and Peer Ministry team also returned to school early to help guide the students through the building and to aid in the new class’ transition to a new school.

“The goal of this year’s orientation was to pilot the new approach and to take advantage of an opportunity to truly acquaint our new students to John Carroll’s Catholic identity, academic expectations, and school culture,” said Ms. Galicki, “We wanted to leave a positive and impactful first impression on our new students and leave them with a greater understanding of what it means to be a Patriot.”