Flock to the tropics! South Forsyth greets both returning and new faculty and students with a tropical-themed campus. The staff sprawled blue flamingoes all around the front of the main hall to accompany their Hawaiian theme. (Maggie Craig)
Flock to the tropics! South Forsyth greets both returning and new faculty and students with a tropical-themed campus. The staff sprawled blue flamingoes all around the front of the main hall to accompany their Hawaiian theme.

Maggie Craig

From Zoom Calls to School Halls: Seeing New Faces at South Forsyth’s Sofopalooza

August 12, 2021

A spectacular dance performance! The SFHS varsity and junior varsity dance teams display their skills for the incoming class of freshmen. Their multitude of routines received thunderous applause from both freshmen and returning students alike. (Maggie Craig)

On a hot and humid Thursday morning, students of all grades gathered once again on the South Forsyth campus to advertise the many clubs South has to offer. As many students transitioned from virtual learning to face-to-face instruction, Sofopalooza brought a crowd full of new faces. This year’s annual Sofopalooza greeted the Class of 2025 and the (previously virtual) class of 2024. Many upperclassmen from various clubs and organizations worked together to make South Forsyth feel like home. Overall, the event left its guests feeling excited and anxious for the promising school year ahead.

While the parents of the freshmen gathered in the dining hall to discuss the expectations as well as the logistics behind attending high school, the SFHS ambassadors led the freshmen to the arena where the marching band, color guard, and cheerleaders greeted them with joyous music and dance.

The Class of 2025 filed into the bleachers of the arena to watch the dance team and the cheer team perform the mixture of routines they practiced throughout the summer. As students watched both of the teams, the SFHS ambassadors tossed South merchandise into the bleachers for the freshmen to raise school spirit. Eventually, both Mrs. Laura Wilson and Mr. Brian Nelson gave their speeches to the Class of 2025, encouraging them to connect with their new school by joining clubs they’re interested in or making friends with students who’ve come from other middle schools.

SFHS Ambassadors! (From left to right) Juniors Jack Leo, Peyton Yancey, and Megan Murphy get ready to greet the Class of 2025. They welcomed the freshmen with warm smiles and laughter. (Maggie Craig)

“My main piece of advice to the Class of 2025 would be to get connected,” said 9th-grade administrator Mr. Brian Nelson. “After what we have been through, they [students] need to establish and feel that sense of community and support from those around them. Having those support networks makes everyone’s experience better when those hard times come.”

Finally, the rising freshmen ventured off into a scavenger hunt around the campus, leading them to every corner of the school building. The scavenger hunt took the students to important areas such as the Counselors’ Office, the Culinary Suite and The Bird Cage. The students took pictures of themselves in the places the scavenger hunt described. Not only did they get to familiarize themselves with the building, but they also got the chance to sign up for all the clubs the school has to offer. The upperclassmen stood at club booths throughout the campus with tri-folds and sweet treats to invite the underclassmen to sign up. In fact, both the culinary class and the marketing department attracted freshmen into their facilities utilizing free freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies. 

Winning delicious prizes. South Forsyth DECA officers welcome the new freshman as they play fun games to earn pieces of candy. Along with a variety of other clubs, DECA organized interactive booths to help the new students find clubs they are passionate about. (Maggie Craig)

“Sofopalooza was a great way to explore the school and familiarize ourselves with where our classes were located,” said freshman Shreya Paruchuri. “I am really excited for my first year at South and can’t wait to have an awesome year.”

Each area of the campus highlighted the many activities the school has to offer. In the Blue Gym, the sports teams showcased their organizations and emphasized the dates and requirements of the tryouts for each team. In the performing arts center, the theatre program displayed their many clubs and classes as well, listing the many shows they have performed in the past. And of course, the marketing building pushed forward their award-winning Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) program and held a plethora of games and activities for the students to enjoy. 

“My favorite part of Sofopalooza was planning out our table with the other officers,” said Rho Kappa (Social Studies Honor Society) Officer Austin Pasley. “[During Sofopalooza], we encouraged freshmen to enroll in advanced social studies courses, as they are prerequisites to joining Rho Kappa junior year. We offered trivia in various categories like economics, government, culture, and history that directly relates to social studies.”

Welcoming a war eagle. (Pictured above) Freshman Jeshua Punyasamudram tours the South Forsyth campus as he walks around with his friends during Sofopalooza. He is excited to see what his freshman year holds! (Maggie Craig)

As Sofopalooza came to a close, the SFHS staff introduced another group of students to the building: the virtual Class of 2024. Sporting periwinkle T-shirts and name tags, the SFHS Ambassadors hosted a group of students who did not attend school in-person last year to tour around campus. Even though they were rising sophomores, many never had the chance to step foot inside the building, so they were as equally curious and anxious as the freshmen from earlier in the morning. Although the students missed the opportunity to see all the clubs the school featured during Sofopalooza, the virtual class finally walked the halls of the building and got to experience high school more traditionally. 

“My favorite part of Sofopalooza was being able to reconnect with my friends and be introduced to all of the new clubs and activities,” said sophomore Ananya Putta. “This year I’m looking forward to meeting new people and creating new experiences [with them] throughout the year.”

Click the gallery to view more clubs featured at Sofopalooza!

About the Writers
Maggie Craig, Editor-In-Chief
Maggie Craig is currently a senior at SFHS and is super excited to be this year's Editor-in-Chief for The Bird Feed. If she isn’t writing stories, you will find her jamming out on her guitar or ukulele. She is a performer at heart and is a member of the voice company at RISPA. Maggie loves musicals such as Waitress and Miss Saigon. In her spare time, she binge-watches anime and plays on her Nintendo Switch. Never hesitate to approach her and say hello because she loves meeting new people. You can contact her through her email @[email protected] or through her Twitter @Smrcraig108.
Shree Delwadia, Editor-In-Chief
Shree Delwadia is excited to be part of The Bird Feed as a senior! This year is her fourth year on staff, and she cannot wait to take on her new responsibilities as the Editor-In-Chief. By working on the staff as a writer and an editor, she has learned a variety of communication, teamwork, and accountability skills that she will take on to other roles in her life. At school, she is a part of MDJunior, Beta Club, and UNICEF.  In her spare time, she loves spending time with her friends and family or discovering new things to do. Two of her ride-or-die tv shows are Grey’s Anatomy and Friends. Moreover, Shree has a strong interest in medicine and hopes to pursue a career in healthcare one day. You can contact her via twitter @ShreeDBirdFeed or using her email [email protected].

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