Senior/Freshmen Unity Day introduces newcomers to ILS

The Class of 2020 welcomed the Class of 2023 with a number of ILS traditions.

Seniors enjoying the moment at Senior/Freshmen Unity Day.

Seniors enjoying the moment at Senior/Freshmen Unity Day.


The first day of high school for most freshmen around the nation doesn’t include a sponge relay, a scavenger hunt and a human hula-hoop knot, but that’s life at Immaculata-La Salle high school, as the Class of 2023 will soon come to understand.

In a tradition that stretches back years, the seniors at ILS, this year—the Class of 2020, welcomed their latest crop of little brothers and sisters to campus on Friday August 16th. Throughout the day, the freshmen had their first taste of not only the delicious lunch offerings, but also the Salesian charism that animates the school.

The Oratory model, Don Bosco’s educational philosophy, unites church, home, school and playground, and as the ILS’s guiding principal, this comes to the forefront on Senior/Freshmen Unity Day.

Freshmen and seniors reported to school at normal time, then after being sorted into their F blocks, the Class of 2023 got a closeup look at the campus and the craziness that unfolds during days like this one.

Freshmen enjoy a good soaking while at the Sponge Relay.

Each freshman was paired with a senior, then, in larger groups, they participated in a number of icebreakers and competitive games. Groups rotated through five stations spread out throughout the campus, including a school-wide scavenger hunt, an obstacle course in the gym, a cheer competition, a human hula-hoop knot on the football field, and the infamous sponge relay on the track.

“It never ceases to amaze me how welcoming and enthusiastic our ILS family is,” said Mrs. Milly Beltran, the ILS Campus Minister and one of the Senior Class Moderators.

New and old students alike coursed through the campus throughout the morning in sweltering heat, tracking down items for the scavenger hunt before getting doused in cold water during the sponge relay.

“The scavenger hunt was fun. I enjoyed it,” said freshman Jason Fernandez. “It’s a great way to allow the new students to get to know the campus and be introduced to the family they’re joining.”

The fun continued as the groups cycled through the different area. As each team won a game in their rotation, their reward was a seemingly innocuous piece of a famous child’s toy, Mr. Potato Head. Once the rotations ended, students and faculty made their way to the gym for a large group presentation.

Mr. Mendez assumed the mantle of Mr. Potato Head for Senior/Freshmen Unity Day.

During this presentation, senior moderators Mrs. Milly Beltran and Mr. Luis de Prada spoke to the gathering about what it means to be part of the ILS family.

“We know it’s only a few hours, but this sets the tone for what the new school year will be like,” said Mrs. Beltran. “Every year is a new and exciting adventure.”

It was at this point that the toy parts came into play. The individual small groups came together to assemble Mr. Potato Head, before Mr. Potato Head made an appearance.

This year, TV Production teacher Mr. Tony Mendez played the part of the toy, much to the delight of those gathered as he danced his way out of the locker room.

This set the stage for a decades-long tradition at ILS, the 12 Years of School skit.

Seniors prep the famous 12-Years of School Skit.

Members of the Class of 2020, decked out in costume to represent each of the 12 years of their education, sauntered into the gym for the skit. Seniors, freshmen and faculty alike laughed at the enthusiastic portrayal of the parts by seniors Gianluca Consi, Arianna Perez, Sebastian Pozo, Valerie Sabalza, Julia Taquechel and Ernesto Walter, among others.

“Senior/Freshman Unity Day gave us insight on the closeness and friendliness of the La Salle community,” said freshman Andres Espinosa.

The day finished with a picnic-style lunch in the cafeteria before the freshmen had a technology orientation.

Mr. de Prada acknowledged the faculty afterwards, thanking them for their outstanding Salesian presence. “The day was truly filled with graceful experiences that we are sure will make an impact in our lives.”