With the year’s first semester soon coming to a close, it means the current District 308 8th graders are a getting closer and closer to becoming the next freshman class. This also means East will be starting its yearly schedule of events to help both students and parents get a better look at the school, such as the Future Wolves Night, hosted on Thursday, November 15th, in the school’s Commons, the blue gym, and the silver gym.
“It’s surreal … My youngest kid is getting older and is getting mature and it’s strange to realize that your youngest son is going to be gone and your oldest will be gone in two years and then it will be back to what you started from,” parent Rick Collander said.
Collander’s second and youngest son Caden will enroll as a freshman at East in the fall.
“I wouldn’t really say I’m nervous or sad. I would just say that it’s part of life and it’s the way that life goes and you know you just have to prepare for it and know that they’re your kids and they’ll still always be there,” Collander added.
This event meant for some parents that they would be dealing with different emotions. Whether it be their first or last child going off to high school, it certainly made some parents realize that their soon-to-be-freshmen are growing up.
“It’s a lot of personal emotions just because the kids are getting older and bigger,” parent Brian Polubinski said.
Polubinski has three sons who will all begin high school at East in the fall as well. In fact, the three boys — Mike, Zack, and Josh — happen to be triplets.
“I realized with my first son how much less they need me in high school pretty quick, so it’s probably more of a sad thing for me,” Brian went on.
Even for parents who have already dealt with sending a kid off to high school, it still can be difficult realizing that their children are getting older and older, as was the case with the Polubinksi triplets’ mother Gina.
“I was extremely emotional when my first child came here right before school started, but I have not gotten those emotions yet this time even though I’m sure they’re coming. The fact that they are growing up and getting closer to college age and leaving home will be very emotional,” Gina said.
The evening was organized in order to educate both the students and parents on different aspects of the high school experience. Information is provided on academics, clubs, and sports, and families were provided by the principal and others to help instruct parents about what East has to offer.
“Definitely just to get them started here, it’s a good night. For them to be more comfortable and just to see the staff and know what they have to offer is definitely a good event,” parent Feli Jardenil said.
Jardenil’s son will be coming to East for school starting next August.
Principal Laura Bankowski said that she really wanted to emphasize how students treat each other and do things at East. She made it clear during her speech about the culture of the school and how it can be a welcoming place for the incoming students.
“I think part of this event is really to assure people and parents that we’re here to support their child, that there are resources available for their children, that they do not just send them off to high school and that still it’s a supportive and nurturing environment and they can reach out to us anytime,” Bankowski said.
At the conclusion of the event, parents were able to leave with a better understanding of all the different moments and opportunities that high school can bring. The event also was meant to turn some nervous emotions into optimism and excitement for next year.
“I’m also excited for them because I think it’s a world of opportunity,” Brian Polubinski said. “You guys grow so quick in high school and before you know it, you’re adults, you’re driving, and it’s scary, but for them, I think, let the world open up. Let them keep maturing and be independent and that’s what I think this is about.”
The Future Wolves Night is only the first of many evenings intended to better introduce new Wolf families to the school.
“In April we’ll have our Welcome to the Pack Night. Tonight it’s more [as if to say] here we are, then there will be more events that get more in depth,” Bankowski said. “We want them to know that we’re here for them and will help their kids through high school.”