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Cats show PRIDE
There was a packed gym of 8th graders, here listening to the RHHS Chorus during CATS PRIDE.

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Principal Spann welcomes parents.

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It was a night filled with pride – CATS PRIDE, that is.

Richmond Hill High School had the Fourth Annual CATS PRIDE Night (Communicating Achievement with Teachers, Students and Parents Results in Developing Excellence) on Thursday. The three-hour orientation program was geared toward preparing 8th graders for their transition to high school this fall and concluded with a huge pep rally.

RHHS Principal Charles Spann said the world is not always an easy place, but CATS PRIDE should make 8th graders’ transition into their next phase of education much easier.

"This audience indicates to me that you have high expectations of your children, but also of us – and you should," he said.

Dr. Linda Dugan, RHHS Guidance Counselor, said she had the idea to hold CATS PRIDE four years ago.

"Every club and sport at RHHS is represented in the hallways tonight – we have 29 clubs all together – and teachers from math, social studies, science, language arts and elective classes. This will hopefully make registering for classes much easier."

Attendees were immediately welcomed by smiling members of the RHHS sailing team, the RHHS band playing music and the cheerleading squad and JROTC lining the entrance into the school.

Dugan estimated about 400 parents and students attended.

"Tonight, you’re getting to experience what your students will experience when they enter 9th grade. You’ll learn about teachers’ expectations and be able to find out specific information about classes and requirements," she said to parents.

Every parent received a "Survival Manual" for their student, with pertinent information about the high school processes and policies.

"We want you and your student to go away excited and less stressed about next year," Dugan said during a PowerPoint presentation. "Your children will be more prepared, more marketable and more competitive for college with a RHHS diploma."

While parents sat through the presentation, the 8th graders were entertained in the gymnasium with performances by the RHHS Chorus and JROTC, among others.

"This is a big night for us," Major Jeffrey Odegaard said of the JROTC performing the opening Presentation of Colors for parents and drills for students. "We’re able to show off our JROTC program and let them see what we’re working on."

Dugan said collaboration, cooperation and open communication between the home and school are important for building a strong foundation for a successful high school experience.

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