Tuesday was a day of firsts at Saint Viator High School.

Consider 18 new faculty members, 22 new transfer students, and 232 new freshmen—up 10 percent for the second straight year.

The Class of 2022 represents 44 communities and more than 45 different schools, including 11 international students, says Mrs. Jean Dziedzic, assistant director of recruitment.

“We are excited to welcome the Class of 2022,” Mrs. Dziedzic says. “The future of Saint Viator looks very bright.”

President Brian Liedlich agreed. At the opening faculty meetings, he proudly pointed to the incoming freshmen numbers as exceeding the school’s projections.

“We’re thrilled,” Mr. Liedlich said. “These strong numbers confirm that our commitment to providing a Catholic education—that strives to create young men and women of faith, integrity, and character, who are willing to serve others—is valued.”

Yet, beyond the numbers, all the new freshmen and faculty members walked the same hallways where Saint Viator students have crossed for more than 50 years.

“This is such a welcoming place,” said Mrs. Karen Love, who starts her second year as principal, aided by new Assistant Principal Michael Field. “You feel the warmth. I love the fact that we’re walking this path together.”

Trusty LINK Crew leaders helped ease the transition. Dressed in neon pink T-shirts, the nearly 50 upperclassmen were assigned to small groups and they helped freshmen learn about one another, the school’s traditions and generally just how to get around.

LINK leaders worked under the leadership of first-year Student Activities Director, Ms. Anne Marie Lowry. They met with students in large group assemblies as well as small group discussions, before having the tour of the school and photo sessions. They enjoyed lunch in the air-conditioned Querbes Hall before going through a mini-schedule of their classes and meeting their teachers.

However, there was no homework assigned. This was orientation and a relaxed introduction to the school environment. Students were told to leave their iPads at home.

School starts officially on Wednesday.