May 25, 2020
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As Bangor-area students decide on a high school, John Bapst woos them

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Nearly 300 eighth graders from 23 schools visited John Bapst for their Step-Up Day on Thursday. The event held every year is an opportunity for prospective ninth-graders to tour the school, talk to students, meet teachers, observe a school day and attend a pep rally.

Many Maine middle schoolers have a choice to make once they reach eighth grade: where they’ll attend high school.

As schools in the Bangor area woo students from towns with high school choice, John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor held its Step-Up Day on Thursday to give eighth graders an opportunity to tour the school, talk to students, meet teachers and observe a school day.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Max Mason and the Contemporary Music Ensemble at John Bapst perform at the Step-Up Day pep rally Thursday afternoon. Nearly 3oo eighth graders from 23 schools visited John Bapst for their Step-Up Day on Thursday. The event held every year is an opportunity for prospective ninth-graders to tour the school, talk to students, meet teachers, observe a school day, and attend a pep rally.

Some 280 students from 23 schools, including some homeschoolers, visited John Bapst for the event, according to Head of School Mel MacKay.

“They get to experience classes taught by John Bapst teachers, have lunch with us and attend a pep rally, all while gauging how well our academically focused, creative school might match their strengths and interests and personality,” MacKay said.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
The band plays during the Step-Up Day pep rally at John Bapst Memorial High School on Thursday.

During the pep rally, the band played, cheerleaders cheered and students, both current and visiting, gathered in Sekera Auditorium to sing and cheer for Bapst.

John Bapst is a private high school that enrolls students from throughout the Bangor area. Students from towns without a designated public high school, such as Orrington, Dedham and Holden, have their tuition paid by their hometowns. The school also has international students from almost two dozen countries who make up 15 percent of the population.

Georgina LaGrange, a junior at John Bapst, looks forward to Step-Up Day every year.

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Georgina LaGrange, a junior at John Bapst, dances as the band plays during the school’s Step-Up Day pep rally on Thursday. “I love my school,” LaGrange said. “I want to share that with as many people as possible.” Eighth graders from the greater Bangor area visited John Bapst for an opportunity to tour the school, talk to students, meet teachers, and observe a school day.

“I love my school,” LaGrange said. “I want to share that with as many people as possible.”

A family information night for parents that was scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed until next Wednesday, Feb. 12 due to snow. Step-up night takes place from 6 to 8 p.m.

 


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