New Students at JSMS

Lili Burleson, Staff Writer

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John Sevier Middle School is a shockingly large school, with an incredible number of students. There have been 55 new students enrolled at Sevier since the start of this school year, and 38 of these students came from schools outside of Kingsport.

This rise of enrollment mainly occurs during August and September, or January and February. While the rise in the school community seems great, the students’ adjustments tend to be fairly disappointing.

Taylor Fondrliah is a new student in the community, who is in seventh grade.

“I went to GMS in Texas,” she said. “It was very different. I like Sevier much better than GMS.”

Fondrilah has a mixed opinion of the community of Sevier.

“Some students are nice some are rude, but I don’t care,” she said. “I just walk away, most of the time.”

New students can come from many places. Victoria Houser went to Vance Middle School, Fabiola Lyttle went to Liberty Bell, and Fondrliah went to GMS, which is located in Texas.

Lyttle and Houser, both in seventh grade, agree that current students at Sevier are friendly and welcoming.

“The students are welcoming,” Lyttle said. “Just like the teachers are helpful and fun to be around.”

Houser agrees.

“They are kind and they seem like good people,” she said. “And, yes, they are very welcoming.”

Fondrliah wishes that the school helped her find every classroom.

“They only showed me my first period,” she said.

Fondrliah and Fabiola have both decided that some students are the worst part of being at a new school.

“People at my old school show more respect to teachers,” Fabiola said.

Fondrliah believes this because some of the students simply don’t show much respect; to her that’s necessary.

“I love my teachers,” she said. “They are so helpful and very nice. Better than any other school’s teachers.”

Kelli Ferguson is the school counselor.

“Our teachers do a great job of helping new students,” she said. “They often ask questions to learn more about that student. One very helpful thing that teachers do is to pair new students with a current student during class.”

New students are given a slightly hectic start on their first day.

“New students always start their day in the Counseling Center,” she said. “They often have to wait while we create a schedule for them. For some, this may be a longer wait based on identifying their needs or other conflicts that delay enrollment.”

While they wait for their schedule, they are provided with a lock and an agenda book. Due to some students being unable to use a lock, they spend their time learning and practicing how to use it during the waiting process.

“Then, students receive a full tour of the school,” Ferguson said. “We will often walk a student through their entire schedule and always show them their specific classrooms. Next, we find a locker for that student. Lastly, students are taken to the appropriate class to begin their new role as a John Sevier Student.”

New students may sometimes have a hard time with bullying, finding classes, or getting used to the new school.

“We always encourage new students to ask for help,” Ferguson said. “We let them know that our Warriors are happy to help, but that we can’t help if we don’t know.”

Generally, Sevier’s new students are glad to be here.

“It was easy coming to Sevier, because all my friends are at this school,” Fondrliah said. “Leaving this school would be pretty hard.”

Houser agrees.

“It’s been a blast meeting new people and making new friends,” she said.

Sevier’s new students also have some advice for any other students who may still join the school community.

“Don’t back talk teachers, be nice to everyone, it’s easy to make friends, and be yourself,” Fondrliah said.

Ferguson also has some advice for the students of Sevier.

”For our current Warriors, remember, new students are often very nervous and shy,” she said. “They will need you to reach out to them. Be kind and make a point to talk to and include them.”

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