New school year offers Queen Creek students fresh challenges

Jacob Cratte, center, studies his registration paperwork to enter the seventh grade at Newell Barney Junior High School, 24937 S. Sossaman Road in Queen Creek, during Buccaneer Days July 16 in the school’s cafeteria. He was greeted by Tonya Rauch, right, a social studies teacher at the school, while Jacob’s father, Richard Cratte, absorbed the multitude of information (Wendy Miller, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA).

Jacob Cratte, center, studies his registration paperwork to enter the seventh grade at Newell Barney Junior High School, 24937 S. Sossaman Road in Queen Creek, during Buccaneer Days July 16 in the school’s cafeteria. He was greeted by Tonya Rauch, right, a social studies teacher at the school, while Jacob’s father, Richard Cratte, absorbed the multitude of information (Wendy Miller, Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA).

Students entering the seventh and eighth grades at Newell Barney Junior High School, 24937 S. Sossaman Road in Queen Creek, and their families stopped by the campus July 16 for Buccaneer Days.

During the daylong event, which was broken into three sessions — A-L in the morning, M-Z in the afternoon and everyone at night — students were able to pick up their schedules, pay fees, deposit funds for their lunch money accounts, pick up their gym clothes and have their questions answered, Principal Denise Johnson said during a phone interview July 17.

Jacob Cratte, who attended Frances Brandon-Pickett Elementary, thinks it’s “pretty cool” to be entering junior high, he said during an interview during Buccaneer Days. Graduating to middle school means growing up, earning good grades and getting to experience new things, he said.

Jacob also is looking forward to trying out for some extracurricular activities — wrestling and football, he said.

Nearly 800 students will attend the junior high, which opened in 2008, Principal Johnson said. They will get a taste of their new school year during the meet the teachers night scheduled for July 21, Principal Johnson said.

“Families will come back with their child and follow all seven periods of the child’s schedule throughout the day. They’ll have 10 minutes in each class,” she explained. “Coming from an elementary school into high school can be a big adjustment for some students. The meet the teacher night helps reduce their anxiety because before their first day of school they’ll get to walk the campus, see who their classmates will be and meet their teachers.”

The first day of classes for students in the Queen Creek Unified School District, of which Newell Barney JHS is a part, is Wednesday, July 23.

Editor’s note: The Independent encourages families to submit photos of their child’s first day of school by e-mailing them to News Editor Wendy Miller at qcnews@newszap.com. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook to read up-to-the-minute coverage of East Valley news even before the paper is printed.

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