Placer transfer senior starting to feel at home

Friends, sports, friendly welcome helped in move, Steever says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Although Anna Steever has already completed three years of high school in Foresthill, she finds herself in a different environment for her senior year. Steever, 16, is a transfer senior at Placer High School this year, and said she lived in Foresthill for 14 years before moving to Auburn with her father two years ago. The transfer just made sense, Steever said. “Basically it was a lot easier for me, because I have been living in Auburn for two years,” she said. “Just the traveling back and forth from Foresthill was a little difficult.” Steever said she didn’t start the year feeling alone, however, because she already had some friends at Placer who she met through Foresthill friends and various sports. “So far it’s been pretty good,” Steever said of the transfer. “The teachers, I really like them, got to know a lot of them so far. My classes are all the ones I wanted, so that helped out. And having friends in each of those classes has been pretty awesome. It’s a lot different from going from a school with 200 something kids to going to a graduating class with over 300.” The biggest challenge so far has been meeting new people after growing up with the same group of students, Steever said. “It’s kind of scary at first being a senior, and then not knowing as many people and going to a different school,” she said. Neil Polaske, Steever’s school counselor at Placer, said when a student transfers to Placer he tries to find out if they already know anyone at the school. He said either he or another student will give the new addition a tour of the campus, and he tries to give the student’s teachers a heads-up about the situation. Polaske said he and the student also talk about what clubs or sports the teen might like to participate in. Although Steever’s previous classes fit in well with the requirements at Placer because she was in the same district, some students have to make sure they have taken all the classes they need to graduate, Polaske said. “That happens sometimes,” he said. “Obviously she was in the same district, so we didn’t have any major problems. But sometimes we have students that come in and didn’t take a computer class or a health class, which is a freshman class, and they have to do that in their senior year.” Polaske said students coming from a semester school into Placer’s four-by-four system can also sometimes have some challenges making sure their classes mesh. Polaske said he thinks for the most part Placer is an easy school to transition into. “It’s an open campus,” he said. “Obviously we don’t have the fences around and so on, so I think it’s a fairly easy campus to transition to. But again it obviously depends on where they are coming from.” Duane Long, Steever’s military history teacher, said he can see how it would be difficult for a senior to transfer from one high school to another. “It’s hard,” Long said. “I can’t imagine transferring as a senior. I think that would be a challenge to kind of get your social group going. The positive is you are a senior and you have already spent three years in high school. You kind of know what high school’s about.” Long said Steever seems to be making a good transition onto the campus. “She seems to be doing well in the class,” he said. “She seems to be a productive member.” Steever said her favorite classes so far are weight training and military history, and she hopes to compete on the school’s track or soccer team in the spring. “It will be a little different because, as I said, I knew all my teammates before for quite some time, and we knew each other as a team,” Steever said. Steever said her four brothers graduated from Placer as well as her grandfather on her dad’s side. “My dad gave me the whole story before I went, so I got to learn that,” Steever said. “There is a lot of heritage at Placer with my family.” When Steever started at Placer, she said she thought students might have a negative reaction to her former school, but they have actually been very welcoming. The military history class is giving her a background of, and preparing her for, her future goal of joining the military. “(I’m looking forward to) seeing how far it can get me, and also paying for college and getting different skills for life,” she said. Although she plans to be a member of her new school’s sports department, Steever said she has promised to go to as many Foresthill High football and volleyball games as possible. She said her Foresthill friends tease her about the transfer. “They’re like, ‘Aw, you are such a traitor, but you are always going to be a Foresthill girl,’” she said. “All my best friends are up there, so I want to keep in touch with them.” Reach Bridget Jones at