NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - West Essex Regional High School freshmen and Middle School seventh graders attended special orientations at their respectives schools on Aug. 29. All of the students received schedules, toured their schools and found their lockers. The freshmen attended an activities fair, a special presentation by administrators as well as an ice cream social. The seventh graders got their lockers ready for the start of school and purchased West Essex clothing and accessories in the middle school store.

West Essex Middle School eighth grader Ava Lopez helps seventh grader Abby Rondi
of North Caldwell open her locker. Credits: Allison Freeman  

High School Assistant Principal Juliann Hoebee encouraged all students to participate in the many activities West Essex has to offer. Freshmen were also discouraged from sharing lockers and encouraged to "manage their time wisely."

West Essex High School Junior Emily Ben Nathan of North Caldwell talks to freshman Karly Blume of Roseland about joining the French Club   Credits: Allison Freeman  

At the Middle School, seventh graders purchased West Essex clothing, decorated their lockers and ran into old and new friends at the orientation. The day was perfect for helping new students get adjusted to the middle school.

Alexa Pontoriero, a seventh grader from Fairfield, shopped for West Essex clothing with her mom in the Middle School cafeteria and selected a red shirt. "I am exciting about meeting new people," she said, smiling.

Tammy Pontoriero and daughter Alexa Pontoriero of Fairfield look for some new West Essex clothing for Alexa at the orientation   Credits: Allison Freeman   

Many eighth grade field hockey players and student council members helped the new students find and open their lockers and locate their homerooms and classrooms.

West Essex High School freshmen Nina Ward of Essex Fells and Alexis Cosenzo of
North Caldwell arrive at freshman orientation after field hockey practice   
Credits: Allison Freeman 

"All of the student helpers are so nice," said Mark Castellano as he and his son Dominick walked through the Middle School. "The students offer to help before we can even ask." Dominick said he is very glad to start school at West Essex on Sept. 9. "I am very excited to start school," he said. "I see so many kids I know from football."

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Seventh grader Madison Ribeiro of Fairfield and mother Dawn Ribeiro prepare
Madison's locker for the start of school Sept. 9   Credits: Allison Freeman  

In one hallway, 8-year-old Julianna Antunes and her friend, eighth grader Meghan Sauchelli, taped pictures to the locker of Teresa Antunes, Julianna's big sister, to help her get ready for the big day. 

West Essex Middle School Assistant Principal Lisa Tamburri said that the day went very well and thanked all of the eighth grade volunteers for helping the new students at the orientation. Both Tamburri and Middle School Principal David Montgomery said they are excited for a wonderful school year.

From left: West Essex Middle School Assistant Principal Lisa Tamburri, Chris Duthie, Nicholas Lojo and Brooke and Alyssa Eisenhardt enjoy the orientation  
Credits: Allison Freeman