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A safari complete with tour guides

What do 246 new freshmen students do when walking into the 40-acre Greenville High School complex for the first time? Simply said - they go on a safari.

That has been the tradition for more than seven years now, says Patricia McNaughton, guidance and career counselor at the facility.

The &uot;2001-2002 Freshman Safari&uot; began last week with an assembly in the school's auditorium, where students and their parents were greeted, placed in groups and spoken to by several people they will come to know during their stay at Greenville High.

Elizabeth Utley, student body president of the Class of 2002, took the podium with words of guidance.

&uot;It will be very important for you all to focus early on your grades because the time for games is gone - this is the beginning of your future,&uot; Utley said. &uot;But while it is important to work hard on academic achievement, it also is important for you all to get involved in the activities of the school and be a part of some of the many opportunities we have here at GHS for extracurricular activities.&uot;

Another student, Marcus Briggs also spoke about the importance of grades.

&uot;I had some difficulties with my grades,&uot; Briggs said. &uot;But I went to the teachers and asked for help. They actually took time out to give me the extra help I needed because they care. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help.&uot;

When the assembly was over, the students and their parents began touring the school in groups. Each student was given a copy of their schedule for the year, and made notes as they were guided by a faculty member and two students.

One important point the students paid close attention to was the location of their classes.

&uot;Each of our halls has a different color in the tile pattern, to distinguish them from the others,&uot; said Assistant Principal Don Yancey. &uot;This has turned into quite a resource, for the students, but also for the faculty.&uot;

During the tour, students located their homerooms and each classroom they would use. At the end of the tour, they were treated to refreshments in the cafeteria, while being given the opportunity to speak with representatives from the various clubs and other extracurricular organizations.

When the two hour session was over, the students were not quite as apprehensive as they had been when they first arrived.

Schools will reopen for the fall term on Monday, Aug. 13..

Motorists are urged to take care when driving, and watch for student pedestrians and school buses.