A wave of new students hit GMHS this 2012 to 2013 school year. Not only have 123 new members of the Mustang family drastically changed the school’s population, but they have also inspired George Mason’s welcoming spirit.
Take a look outside where the students pile out of their buses or walk around the halls and see students chatting with friends. Just by looking into the classrooms, the halls or the lunchroom, a change in George Mason can be seen.
The size of George Mason has changed and is seen in the never ending lunch lines or the tightly packed classrooms. The International Relations class, taught by Ms. Holly Herrington, has reached a shocking size of 35 students and IB English teacher Ms. Karin Tooze is not far behind. This year, her English class is filled with 33 students compared to only 25 last year. Emergency accommodations are being made to relieve some of this over-crowding by hiring a part time English teacher.
George Mason’s Registrar, Ms. Beth Bird, says of the increasing student numbers, “In my opinion, seeing the ratings in the newspaper made parents want to make sure their children were put into the best schools.”
This year, U.S News and World Report ranked George Mason #19 in their “Best High School Rankings”.
“Normally, a few days after the rankings come out, parents call the school to get more information,” Bird said. “This year, as soon as the rankings came out, the phone was ringing.”
On the other hand, size was not the only change that has occurred inside of George Mason. Another change felt throughout the school is Mason’s spirit that greets new faces entering the school community.
New student Eliza Allen from Utah recounted her first day describing the students as “pretty welcoming” and stating, “Surprisingly, most of the students at Mason reached out to me.”
The teachers and faculty also reached out to new students. On the first day of school, students were greeted with a handshake from the staff and Principal Ty Byrd, and even Superintendent Toni Jones greeted old and new students on the front steps of George Mason.
These past weeks, the Mason Mustangs showed their spirit as staff and students embraced the new members of George Mason. As the year progresses, hopefully the students, parents and Falls Church community will see the spirit of George Mason grow as we continue to welcome new faces.
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