Shadow Cats Welcomes Prospective Students for the Third Year

Sierra Jorden and Jenny Tucker

You might be wondering why there are miniature freshmen  walking around our campus this week, and it’s not just to annoy us; they’re actually middle school students. What started as an ambitious genius project of alumni Natalie Goins, has now become her legacy on Sage Creek’s campus. Goins’ sister, junior Audrey Goins, now runs the Shadow Cats program. Sage Creek takes pride in the fact that one of the best programs for prospective students is completely student-run and created, and now is stronger than it has ever been.

Photo by Jenny Tucker
Sophomore Eleni Mowry talks with her eighth grade sister Lauren Mowry at lunch. Several eighth grade students shadowed their older siblings.

Senior Angela Prvulovic was a Shadow Cat ambassador last year. She explains what the Shadow Cats program is all about.

“Shadow Cats is aimed at showing current middle schoolers a preview of a day in high school. They are paired with a student and follow them throughout their day. Students get to see classes, coursework, the campus. The main goal is to help middle schoolers make the choice right for them, hopefully Sage Creek!” Senior and previous 2017 Shadow Cat Ambassador, Angela Prulovic, says optimistically. In this way, rather than choosing a high school based on only a tour, middle school students have the opportunity to see, feel, and get the full experience inside a Sage Creek classroom. Additionally, middle school students get to interact with Sage Creek high school students to get a feel for the personality of people at our school.

Photo by Sierra Jorden
Principal Morales snaps a picture of the eight graders and Shadow Cat ambassadors early in the morning. Soon after, Morales gave a speech about the purpose of Shadowcats.

“I joined because I wanted to help make someone confident and comfortable in their choice, as well as to show them all the possibilities Sage Creek has to offer. The best part is hopefully seeing that student on campus the following year,” Prulovic adds. So if you see a freshman on campus this year or next year, make sure to ask them if they did Shadow Cats; it may have helped them in their decision to come to Sage Creek.

Mary (Gracie) Catilus is a current freshman who participated in Shadow Cats last year. Participating in this outreach program at Sage Creek during her eigth grade year, Catilus could confidently choose which high school she wanted to attend the following year as a freshman.

Photo by Jenny Tucker
A group of Sage Creek students pose with an eighth grade Shadow Cat. Dec. 4 was one of four days that eighth graders will be on the SCHS campus.

“I wanted to get a feel for high school and I wanted to see what it was like. It helped me and I wasn’t as nervous on the first day of school. I learned about a lot of the teachers… and I just learned a lot of… rules on campus. [Shadow Cats]… made me want to come [to Sage Creek],” Catilus says. Many freshmen cite Shadow Cats as one of their main reasons for coming to Sage Creek because it introduced them to the vibe and class style of the school.  

But of course, the Shadow Cats program would not be possible without the leadership and help of the middle school principals who have agreed to let their students participate in the program. Principal Michael Ecker of Calavera Hills Middle School states his reasoning for his Middle School’s involvement in Shadow Cats.

Photo by Jenny Tucker
An eighth grade Shadow Cat laughs with her Shadow Cat ambassador and her friend during lunch. All Shadow Cats on Dec. 4 came from Calavera Hills Middle School.

“We believe it helps our students be more prepared to choose a high school…and we want to support our students! Students are able to better understand what lies in their future by experiencing SCHS first hand,” Principal Ecker states. He goes on to say that the decision date for eighth grade students for which high school they would like to attend is Jan. 31. Last year, Shadow Cats took place in January, but this year it has been moved to December in order to give eighth graders a longer amount of time to compare the high schools before making a final decision.

Freshmen are friends, not food, and Shadow Cats takes that saying fully to heart. The Shadow Cats program not only welcomes, but encourages all eighth graders to choose Sage Creek as the high school that will take them to college, a job or wherever else they may end up. And it all started from the idea of one student.