CCHS holds Dawg House Welcome for incoming freshmen, transfer students
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Copperas Cove High School welcomed students and parents to the annual Dawg House Welcome Wednesday morning.
Dawg House Welcome serves as an orientation of sorts for incoming freshmen and students who are new to the district and therefore the high school.
The incoming freshmen class of 2026 is approximately 632 students and is believed to be the largest class yet for the high school, according to school officials.
Students and parents first gathered in the Lea Ledger Auditorium, where they heard from the 9th Grade Assistant Principal and Counselor about the school rules, graduation guidelines and more. The audience then broke into small groups that toured the campus, led by members of the Link Crew, upperclassmen who volunteered to show the new students around campus.
Eva Northrop is a sophomore and a Varsity cheerleader who volunteered to be part of the Link Team, giving tours to incoming freshmen and transfer students who are new to Copperas Cove High School.
“We came here to of course welcome all the new freshmen. We performed for them on stage since we’re the Varsity Cheerleaders, and since we’re here and representing the school, we thought we’d go ahead and help out around here and give the tours and help out in the cafeteria,” Northrop said.
Northrup said that her first days of her freshman year were a bit hectic, so she wanted to make sure that this year’s freshmen students were able to have a clear idea of where they need to go on their first day.
She said that her advice to incoming freshmen would be to make sure they focus on themselves and their success, rather than worrying about what other people think.
As a member of the Link Team, Northrup took on another role as well- being a friendly face that the students in her group can recognize as they make their way from class to class through the many hallways at the high school.
“It gives them someone to be there with them because it sucks being all alone on the first day, so if I see someone from the group that I helped around, absolutely I’ll go up to them, ask how they’re doing, sit with them, stuff like that,” she said.
Jessica Salazar, the school’s Student Activities Coordinator, said that Dawg House Welcome was the first event for this school year.
“It is probably one of the biggest ones for our freshmen and our new to district students,” Salazar said. “It gives them an opportunity to see what we have to offer, give them a tour of the campus as well, help get them set up for student I.D.s, bus passes, etc., things like that. They get to interact with some of the students as well. Their tour guides are our students, both juniors and seniors, so they know quite a bit about the school and they will basically be directing us throughout the building, showing them what we have to offer.”
Salazar said that one of the most common stressors that freshmen students end up experiencing is finding their way around campus and doing so in a timely manner.
“The layout is a bit different than what a lot of kids are used to, so getting acquainted with the hallway structures, knowing which hallway to go down, is something that kind of scares them, and it’s a little intimidating,” Salazar said. “I think another thing is making sure they’re on time to class, and that’s just because they see a big building, and they’re like, ‘OK. I’ve got to go from this part to that part, do I have enough time?’, and once they do the tours, they realize you can walk from one point of campus to the other side within the five minutes that we’re allotted. I think once they get to experience that, they become more comfortable with it, and it takes some of the stressors off of them.”
In the cafeteria, the different student clubs and organizations, such as DECA, JROTC, the Dungeons and Dragons club, and many more, set up booths for students and parents to check out and sign up at.
Eva Revilla, 14, is an incoming freshman. Having already been accepted onto the Copperettes dance team, the Dawg House Welcome served as an opportunity for Revilla to tour her new school with her mother, Lorianne Valois, and discover the different clubs and student organizations that are offered. Revilla plans to take advanced math and English classes as well as a Medical Terminology class and art classes. She said she was considering joining DECA as well.
Valois was excited for her daughter as she starts this new chapter in her life.
“First of all, I can’t believe that I have a freshman,” Valois said. “I just want her to have a good experience overall. Make friends. Choose a career path that she’s interested in- she’s kind of gone back and forth a little bit, so hopefully this first year, she’ll understand a little bit more of what she is wanting to do, especially after the counselors or she sees all the different activities.”
Valois said that the Dawg House Welcome helped answer questions as far as the Four-Year Plan that students need for planning for their graduation, and also taught her as a parent what she needs to do as far as communicating with the school counselor and making sure Revilla stays on top of her grades.
Roawen Turner,14, is another incoming freshman. As she followed her group around campus, she said she was somewhat familiar with the layout of the high school due to having older sisters who have attended CCHS. There have been some changes in the location of certain class subjects being moved around. For example, the Echo Hall, located across the hallway from the 200-hall, will feature Geometry classes instead of the previous social studies classes. Turner plans to take German I this year, so she also took notice of where that class will be at.
“I’m kind of nervous because it’s going to be a lot more people and a lot of people that I just don’t know,” Turner said. She said she did recognize some classmates from Copperas Cove Junior High already throughout the tour, though.
The first day of school for Copperas Cove ISD is Tuesday, August 16.