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WESTFORD — As Nashoba Valley Technical High School finished one school year, it was already preparing for the new crop of students that will enter the school next year.

Nashoba Tech is in its second year as part of the national Kick-Off Transition Program, a comprehensive transition, orientation and mentoring program welcoming students and their parents to their new school.

Nashoba Tech recently held its Kick-Off orientation day, at which 42 selected sophomores learned about the program and how to be a mentor for a new student.

The goal of the Kick-Off Program is to go beyond the customary freshman orientation day, which usually consists of a tour of the building, staff members discussing course options, and administrators lecturing students on the rules and regulations.

While important, those activities don’t address some of the real concerns that new students have about a school. They want to know what school is really about, and they want to hear it from other students who have gone through it and survived.

The program teaches incoming juniors how to become yearlong mentors for freshmen, helping to ease the transition for new students and their parents.

According to Jobee O’Sullivan, admissions coordinator at Nashoba Tech, mentors in the Kick-Off Program will coordinate and run new-student orientation in August and will organize various activities through the 2010-11 school year to maintain the connection between the freshmen and their mentors.

Incoming juniors selected to serve as Kick-Off Mentors include: Marissa Abreu (Townsend), Debra Brady (Townsend), James Chiriboga-Flor (Groton), John Cortez (Pepperell), Hollie Curley (Shirley), Sarah DeBerardinis (Townsend), Kirstin Dias (Pepperell), Angela Dumas (Ayer), Kyle Dunbar (Townsend), Taylor Gingras (Townsend), Shannon Harlow (Pepperell), Jordan Hass (Townsend), Colby Keefe (Townsend), Rebecca Landers (Townsend), Mikayla Madsen (Townsend), Adriana Mauro (Ayer), David McPartlan (Ayer), David Noel (Shirley), Shane Nogler (Pepperell), Jessica Nordstrom (Pepperell), James Osterfield (Townsend), Jessica Pero (Groton), Justin Pina (Pepperell), Stephen Seplow (Pepperell), Sara St. George (Groton), Nathan Tarr (Pepperell), Richard Tonks (Townsend), Rachel Wheeler (Pepperell) and Matthew White (Townsend).

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