Back in Business with the Newbies

Demani Butler, Staff Writer, Copy editor

And we’re back again y’all!

Aug. 10, Bullitt East started a new, fresh, and strong school year including new staff members, returning students, and several new visual changes for the safety of everyone.

We all know last year was tough for all because of the now-famous word “COVID.”  We never knew when we’d be in person or online.  People were being sent home for quarantine on a daily.  This year, we plan to get back to being the Charger Nation we know we are but even better.

The class of 2024 never got to experience an eighth-grade dance, trip, graduation, and even worse, their first real year of high school.  Some never even stepped foot in the building until these past two weeks. 

“High school has been good so far.  It has already been a better experience than middle school,” said sophomore Gracie Britt. “I felt a little nervous but after I found all my classes, everything got better,” said Britt.

We were given the option to be virtual or stay online last school year.  Britt chose to stay virtual all year, resulting in her freshman year of high school is at home.  Stepping in East on the first day of school was really different for many sophomores.

Other students have taken a year or two off from East and came back to return their junior or senior year.  With that comes being able to know the routine of the school yet still adjusting to the new changes.  

“It feels good to be back at East, I feel like I know everybody, it’s just people I have spent my life growing up with,” said Junior Ashley Vinson.  “It’s weird getting used to this many people again and trying to get through the hallways,” said Vinson. 

Vinson attended East her freshman year then transferred to Sacred Heart High School last year.  She shortly realized that her home was with us Chargers.  Vinson got to experience the thrill of being at school with her childhood friends again.  

As always, a new school year means new transfers and freshmen.  Jack Willard, an incoming freshman, has made a name for himself by being a part of East’s wrestling team winning many matches.

“I’d say my first day was fun, it was good to know that I knew a lot of older people already in the school.  I like that other person know who I am too because they talk to me even though I am still new.,” said freshman Jack Willard. 

Joining sports is a great way to get active in our school and meet new people, especially for underclassmen.  You’re able to work with your peers outside of math and reading classes, learn teamwork and form relationships with teachers that coach here. 

Bullitt East offers a great foreign exchange student program for students to explore American school traditions.  This year we have about 3 foreign exchange students that attend East.  

“I really enjoy my time here so far.  It was hard to fit into the difference at first but I settled in pretty fast,” said senior Kerstin Smily.  

Smily is from Austria and is a part of East’s Volleyball team forming new friendships and allies.  After high school, she plans on going to college to study marketing, business economics, or media management.

   “I am looking forward to improve my English, meet new people, learn more about your culture and just see how typical high school life is, I only know of it from movies,” said Smily. 

So far we have done great at welcoming our incoming students and valuing their place within the school.  But what about our staff?

Ondrea Smallwood is newly included in our charger staff as Assistant Principal.

“My first week here was a whirlwind, everything happened so fast.  I would get to the end of the school day and think, oh my goodness where did this day go,” said Smallwood.  “Everyone has been extremely nice to me and patient with me learning my job,” said Smallwood.

Smallwood is not only new to East; she is new to her position.  We have all been new at something at some point so we all should know this was a big move for Mrs.Smallwood.

“I am really excited to experience the things I have heard about Bullitt East as far as the red zone rowdies and seeing that in action, the house system, and just all the things I have heard about Bullitt East’s school spirit,” said Smallwood.  

We do really well at supporting our team sports and activities along with school spirit.  This year our new students and staff get to be a part of that.  

This year is going to be new for everyone.  Wearing masks, contact tracing, social distancing; we’re all going to have to adjust.  It’s important that we all play our part and respect each other in doing so.  We should continue to welcome our new students and staff and make their first or come back year good for them.