Incoming IB freshman attend a week long introduction to the program

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  • During the milk debate, Jeevanram Munnangi "Billy Bob Joe" listens to the pronounciation of milk online.

  • As students face difficulties with the algebra one problems, volunteer Brianna Cook guides them.

  • For history review, students were assigned types of government and created a country to represent it. These students created the "Kingdom of Sketch," a constitutional monarchy.

  • Anika Balaraju and Sanjana Dundigalla discuss a math problem.

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On the third day of the IB Summer Institute for incoming freshman, six students debated how to pronounce milk.

“It’s milk,” incoming freshman Jeevanram Munnangi said, throwing his hands up.

“No, it’s melk,” Lauren Novorska said.

The group asked any passerby the same question: How do you say milk?

Math teacher Jason Wiggins responded “melk,” which received whoops and claps on the back from Novorska and Allyson Travis.

“Two of us don’t like carbonated drinks and we were talking about how there is a lot of sugar in milk, natural sugars, [Travis] and I said it’s melk and [Aanya Travis, Kaitlyn Osei-Owusu and Munnangi] said it’s milk and then we started arguing,” Novorska said.

For four days, the Class of 2022 attended an optional summer academy. Each day, students reviewed English, math and history skills and lessons with teachers Ashley Payne, William Baker, Jason Wiggins and James Fosco.

“This is to give them a jump start on what the pre-IB subjects will look like academically once school starts,” Assistant Principal Trisha Fitzgerald said.  “It also gives them a chance to get familiar with the school, meet each other and their teachers.”

Several students know other students such as Dylan Chuang, one of 23 students coming from Walker Middle School. “All of the people here are different and they come from different counties, so it’s really good to have one person that [I] know,” Frank Liu said.

Other students are beginning anew. “I’m excited because at my old school everyone was not necessarily rude, but no one really talked to me and I’m looking forward to meeting new people,” Lizzie Milan said. “Everyone is much more friendly.”

From a young age, Asher Montgomery said she would attend Hillsborough. “I’ve always wanted to come here because it looks like Hogwarts,” she said.

With her helmet strapped to her bag, Montgomery said one of her fears is crossing Hillsborough on her bike. However, her primary concern is the workload.

“I know it’s really hard and I’m scared about that,” she said.

However, sophomore and volunteer Sabrina Feldman said the freshmen can manage the assignments. “They all know they are a top student so they’ll all be fine,” she said.

The volunteers administered papers, answered questions and supervised the students.

Although she has all her CAS hours completed Feldman said she enjoys assisting the students. “Now that I’m here and I really, really like Hillsborough, I feel like it’s a good idea for me to share how much I love it with the other students and I like getting to know the school better by being as involved as I can,” she said.

When IB Secretary Brenda Carter visited the group, she said she felt the positive energy. “They are excited, they are engaged and I’m happy for them,” Carter said.

Baker taught traditional English for 14 years and will begin teaching IB English this year.

“I’m excited for a new challenge,” he said with a grin. “I’m excited for a new group of kids.”

That weekend, students attended a team-building day at the Northdale Y.

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