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Paradise High freshman attended orientation to prepare for first day of school

After the Camp Fire, the first year of high school will not be anything like incoming freshman may have imagined.

Posted: Aug 14, 2019 10:33 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - After the Camp Fire, the first year of high school will not be anything like incoming freshman may have imagined.

This is a fresh new start for the freshman coming back to Paradise High School, for freshman orientation.

The first week at Paradise High School will be unlike any other year, with a shared camaraderie. 

"We are ready to go, we've been working really hard with what few staff members we have left," Tanya Harter, Food Services Director said.

These people have lived through tragedy and they're ready to triumphantly once again fill these halls. 

"I wish it was June 7th and I could go lay by a pool again but I have a job to do, and I'm excited to see the kids again," Stephanie Minderhoud, Teacher at Paradise High said.

Action News Now spoke to Teacher Stephanie Minderhoud on the day of the Camp Fire after she evacuated students in her own car, surrounded by flames.

The campus was one of the few paradise areas that were spared by the Camp Fire but Harter said their off-campus food storage building was destroyed, making it a challenge to feed students.

"We have multiple challenges but they are conquering each one and it's wonderful," Harter said.

The school provided a link crew made up of older students on hand to guide freshmen through the intimidating process of entering a new school. 

"They enter high school knowing at least 10 people that they can say hi too," Ambrosia Krinsky, Link crew coordinator said.

These people have lived through a terrifying experience and they are more appreciative of each other. Now, being a Bobcat means you are a survivor with a whole new community of friends.

The Paradise Unified School District said there were 3300 students enrolled in the system last year, this year they are expecting fewer than half to return to school.

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