Moving up in rank: staff members share tips for starting new grade level


Photo courtesy of Hannah Eisiminger

The Hiller Newspaper is fortunate to have staff members and editors from multiple grade levels! Younger THS students, don’t be afraid to approach upperclassmen because they have likely gone through the same things that you are!

Trinity is officially in the swing of a new year! While students may have different feelings about coming back to school, stress over transitioning to a new grade level is often universal. In an attempt to ease some fears about what these new grade levels have to offer, staff members from The Hiller Newspaper share their best tips and tricks to tackle this year. 


Class of 2026, welcome to Trinity High School! Your next four years here will be full of opportunities to excel both academically and socially. With so many choices for ways to get involved, how do you begin to navigate this transition? Sophomore Leah Kubacka has some tips. 

“The transition from middle school to high school is huge. The building is bigger, the work is different and teachers expect much more,” says Kubacka.

Although the upperclassmen may be scary at first, Kubacka stresses the importance of getting involved early with extracurriculars to start building those connections. In fact, Kubacka’s favorite part of her freshman year was meeting so many new people that she never had a chance to interact with in middle school. 

Trinity High School is home to a myriad of clubs, sports and other extracurriculars that are easy and enjoyable to join. Freshmen, be sure to check your Trinity email for important information related to ways to get involved this year!

As for some final thoughts, Kubacka says that if she could go back and tell herself one thing during her 9th grade year, it would be to avoid stressing about things that can’t be controlled right now. Freshmen, you are only in your first of four years at THS. Take your time and truly enjoy the experiences that are available to you right now. 


Hello, sophomores! You’ve made it past freshman year! Sophomore year is a wonderful time to think about what worked last year and what didn’t, and make changes accordingly. 

Overall, Junior Addison Paul recommends that sophomores find clubs that they can see themselves doing for three years. Paul joined clubs extracurriculars such as broadcast, Friends of Rachel and The Hiller Newspaper which allowed her to start strengthening those relationships with students older than her. She feels that this has set her up for the rest of her time at THS because of the mentoring she has received from these newfound friends. 

Paul took AP US History as a sophomore, which is usually the first AP class that Trinity students take. Paul wants any new APUSH students to know that making a timeline of events is crucial, and good notes are imperative. When preparing for the AP test, Heimler’s History on Youtube is one resource that she cannot recommend enough.

Overall, Paul wants to emphasize that joining clubs or taking classes just because your friends are is not the correct approach. 

“Take the time to think about what you actually want for yourself and how Trinity can help with that,” says Paul.


Congratulations, Juniors! You’ve made it to being an upperclassman here at THS! With much more freedom in terms of class choices and extracurricular leadership opportunities, 11th grade is a great time to expand upon the strong foundation you have already built. However, it is important not to overload yourself and fall into the “junior year slump.”

Senior Emma Riddell recalls many fond memories of last year as a junior, but she also thinks of the hardships that came along with them. Riddell took five AP classes last year, which she says was too much. While it may be tempting to sign up for all of the most difficult course offerings, Riddell wants to remind Juniors that maintaining a balance between school and relaxing is crucial to avoiding burnout. 

“Let yourself have fun at school,” says Riddell. “Breaks are also ok. Just make sure you aren’t overworking yourself.”

Riddell advises juniors to continue with the organizations that they have been involved with, and to get involved with others while they still have two years left. Be sure to only choose activities that you are actually passionate about and interested in, as these will be the ones that you can commit the most time to. 

This is not the time to stop, Juniors! Keep up the hard work!


Seniors, you’re in the home stretch! You’ve made it this far, but senior year is not the end of the road. This time in your life is only the beginning. 

Mrs. O’Lare has the privilege of teaching seniors, which she loves because of the maturity level she sees in them. Not only does this allow for great discussions in class, but the dreams that these students have are starting to become reality. 

At this point in the year, there are often two kinds of seniors: those who can’t imagine themselves anywhere but THS, and those who can’t wait to leave. O’Lare truly enjoyed her senior year, and she had some memories that made for a tough goodbye.

“I loved my senior year. One of the best memories I have was when we had a huge water battle at the end of the year. I videoed it and used it as part of the senior video,” says O’Lare.

Despite her reservations about moving on from high school, O’Lare ended up having just as much fun when she went to college. While the types of memories changed, she had a great experience then and she is confident that this year’s seniors will feel the same.

As a general tip for all seniors, O’Lare wants to remind students to get college applications submitted early to avoid any unnecessary stress. Don’t put off those essays because they pile up very quickly. 


Good luck this year, Trinity students! Don’t be afraid to ask those older than you for some advice every once in a while; they were in your shoes not too long ago!