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PBA From a Freshmen Perspective

Thursday, August 24, 2017

August 2, 2017 was an exciting day for all PBA students. To some, it was the start of a new school year at a new school, others were returning back from an amazing summer break, and a few may have felt sadness knowing that they would have to endure another school year.

For freshman Mia Moore, the first day of school was one that she had been anticipating for a long time.

“I was very excited because from my previous visits here I knew that this was a place where I could be myself,” she said.

One of the reasons why many students enjoy PBA is because of the emphasis placed on relationships. That much was obvious to freshman Preston Moon, a recent Texas transplant who likes the small size of the student body.

Interviewees from left to right: Lyla Gonsalves, Kona Minchew, Preston Moon, and Mia Moore.
Interviewees from left to right: Lyla Gonsalves, Kona Minchew, Preston Moon, and
   Mia Moore.

“People really stay and connect with each other and really become friends,” he said. “I remembered touring and there were only seventy kids and I’m coming from places where high schools had over a thousand kids. Here there’s only seventy kids and everyone knows each other.”

Moore pointed out that although the size of the student body may be small, it is the individual students who make PBA so special.

“I think it’s a diverse school and being able to have different people with unique personalities makes the class,” she said.

While the incoming freshmen are the newest addition to the school, there are two returning members of that class -- Lyla Gonsalves and Kona Minchew -- who were part of PBA’s hybrid eighth and ninth grade class last year.

Now that she is officially a freshman, Gonsalves finally feels that she belongs.

“It felt like I didn’t fit into the class last year, but I fit into the class this year,” she said.

Minchew, likewise, is also more comfortable after a year on campus.

“You understand how things work, you’re more familiar,” she said.

When students enter a new school, they are often curious about the teachers: Are they a strict grader? Do they give a lot of homework? Is their class fun? That’s one of the areas where Gonsalves is helping her fellow classmates as a PBA veteran.

“Everybody asks, ‘How’s this teacher like,’ or they ask for information and tips,” she said.

On a personal level, Gonsalves noted that her goal for the school year is to “get good grades’ and “make new friends with my classmates.”

Similarly, Moon’s goal for the year is to “get all A’s and do the best that I can,” while Moore wants to “take risks” and experience “new situations” that she wouldn’t ordinarily experience.

Of course, a new school year could make anyone feel anxious or even on edge, but PBA teachers are known for helping students feel comfortable in their classes so they can work towards their goals.

“The classes are very fun,” Minchew said. “The teachers make it fun.”