HANNIBAL – Eighth graders from Kenney Middle School signed a pledge to finish and graduate from high school at their ninth grade transition day, an event that helps prepare middle school students for life in high school.
Several Hannibal sophomores, juniors and seniors volunteered their time to act as mentors and escorts to the incoming freshmen.
The eight graders were able to take a tour of the high school, meet counselors, administrators and teachers and explore the variety of clubs, sports and activities that will be available in the fall. Living environment teacher Krystal Ward was instrumental in the coordination of the event.
Principal Stephen Dunn told the students that the purpose of high school is to instill 21st century skills (such as how to work with people and how to communicate effectively) so that they may be successful in life’s journey, whether it takes them to college, trade school, the military or straight to the workforce.
“Your success is our success,” said Dunn. “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of being smart.”
Dunn encouraged the students to take advantage of the opportunities available to them in high school: college coursework, volunteering, clubs and sports.
“You can earn college credit here that you don’t have to pay for,” Dunn explained. “Your first semester of college could be completed before you graduate high school.”
Key Club, Spanish Club and Anti-Bullying Club are just some of the extracurricular groups available at Hannibal High School, and students are encouraged to talk to staff if they would like to start up a new club that does not exist yet.
Guidance counselors told the students that being well-rounded and involved with school and community positively will help their job resumes and/or college applications in the future.
The incoming freshman will undergo many changes as they transition into high school; one change being the duration and scheduling of classes.
Coming from a 45-minute, nine class-day schedule, the students will have to adjust to the high school schedule, which works on classes of about an hour and twenty minutes that take place every other day.
Teachers stressed the importance of attendance as one class can cover a lot of important material.
Hannibal high school students need 22 class credits to graduate: four years of social studies and English, two years of science and math, one year of a foreign language, four years of physical education and one year of a science lab.
Students can expect to receive their schedules in August and are encouraged to make sure their schedule includes all of their required courses.
The counseling office is located across from the main office in the high school and is available for mediations, help with scheduling or support with any other difficulty a student may be facing in school.
One resource available to students is called “The HUB,” which stands for “Hannibal Upward Bound.” Hannibal’s RTI coordinator John Snow said that the HUB is a place where students can come for help with schoolwork, tutoring and studying.
According to Snow, statistics indicate that high school graduation can mean the difference of earning a million dollars more than those who do not graduate over the course of a lifetime.
Each student attending ninth grade transition day signed a pledge that read: “We are the class of 2019. Everyone graduates. No warrior left behind.”