John Bapst welcomes in 8th graders for step up day

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 6:42 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - John Bapst Memorial High School welcomed in 8th graders from across the state for their step up day.

“When eighth graders are making a decision, they need to kind of get a sense of the vibe. They want to know what the school feels like. They want to know if this is comfortable for them. They want to know if this is the place where they want to spend the next four years of schooling,” said Head of School Dave Armistead.

Students have to apply to enroll, and applications opened in January.

“This school is really unique. Every single student that’s here is here because they chose to be here,” Armistead said.

The school is made up of students from over 30 Maine towns and 12 different countries.

“It’s a wonderfully diverse, wonderfully focused student body that has shared aspirations for life after high school. They want to go to college, they want to increase their education after they leave here. And this is a place where kids get to be themselves. They get to be smart. They get to be interesting and explore new things,” said Armistead.

In addition to touring the building and sitting in on classes, prospective students connected with current students to learn about their life at John Bapst.

“I can connect so much better to [students] than I can with adults. So when they told me things I can really imagine myself doing it,” said prospective student Beckham Rand.

In doing so, they could do more than just learn about different clubs and programs. They could experience them.

“The music program is so far my favorite. They have over 11 programs that we can join. I’m in four of them and the musical is so fun,” said Bapst Senior Paige Dempsey.