Caroline Nagle

Sydney McFarland and Raven Criscitello are two new students who transferred to B-A this year.

New transfers settling in at B-A

September 17, 2020

Bellwood-Antis High School has been fortunate this year to have several students transfer into the district, several of them from nearby Bishop Guilfoyle. Among those students are junior Sidney McFarland and senior Raven Criscitello, whom the BluePrint caught up with recently to find out how they’re handling the move to B-A.


Caroline Nagle

Sydney McFarland is adjusting well to life away form parochial school.

JUST JUNIOR: Sydney McFarland

This week’s Just Junior is Sydney McFarland! Sydney is one of the transfers Bellwood-Antis has enrolled this year from Bishop Guilfoyle, and transferring from a religious private high school to a public high school is a big change, she said.

However, Sydney’s transition has been different but good. 

Sydney explained, “I wasn’t nervous to come to Bellwood. I was actually very excited. I had heard a lot of wonderful things about this school and the teachers and my classmates have been super helpful with everything!”

Transferring from a private school to a public school would obviously be a big change in atmosphere, and that’s one of the reasons why Sydney wanted to transfer to Bellwood. 

“I feel like the atmosphere at Bellwood is a lot better. At BG, it almost felt like you couldn’t make a mistake, but here when you make a mistake I can learn from them, and I also feel like I can be myself at school without being judged,” Sydney explained. 

Due to COVID and the need for distancing, Bellwood hasn’t had any activity periods, so Sydney hasn’t been able to get involved in too much; however, at BG she was involved in student council, SADD, academic adventures, junior medicine, and track. 

When moving to a new school some of the biggest challenges are making new friends; however, Sydney already had friends attending Bellwood, and that’s her favorite part about being at this school. 

“The people here have been my favorite part about this transition. A lot of my friends go here and the teachers are so nice, understanding, and willing to help you with anything you need,” Sydney explained. 

So far, Sydney’s favorite classes have been Fundamentals of American Law with Mr. McNaul and Problems of Democracy with Mr. Elder. History is her favorite subject. 

“It’s fun to be encouraged to give your opinion in class like we are in law,” she said. 

The biggest question for any transfer who had to wear a uniform at their last school is if they like not needing to wear a uniform everyday, and Sydney is a fan of the no-uniform environment at Bellwood-Antis.

“I can dress for the temperature, and it’s a way I can express myself, but if I’m running a little late sometimes I miss the uniforms,” Sydney explained. 

Overall, Sydney is very excited and happy to be at Bellwood and her positive attitude has been a great addition to the school.

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Caroline Nagle

Raven Criscitello jumped ahead one grade when transferring from Bishop Guilfoyle to B-A.

SUPER SENIOR: Raven Criscitello

Senior year is hard, and starting at a new school is even harder. But can you imagine not only being a senior at a new school, but also skipping a whole grade?

This week’s spotlight senior is Raven Criscitello! It is Raven’s first year at Bellwood-Antis after transferring from Bishop Guilfoyle.

Raven skipped her junior year so she could finish high school early. 

When moving to a new school, one of the biggest concerns for a new student is what the new curriculum, teachers, and students will be like. A new school means a whole new environment. 

“The teachers are super nice and helpful, and all of the students have been nice as well,” Raven said. “I’ve also taken a lot of AP classes at BG, so I’m used to fast paced classes. My favorite class so far is actually CHS physics, which is a more demanding class.” 

Skipping a grade is a big decision, but for Raven, it’s just what made sense. 

“I only needed a couple of credits to graduate, so it wasn’t necessary for another year of high school,” she explained. 

A new thing for everyone at Bellwood is the new air conditioning unit and it is actually Raven’s favorite thing about Bellwood. 

One big day-to-day change from BG to Bellwood is the fact that BG has to wear uniforms, but Bellwood does not, which is an upside and downside of Bellwood for Raven.

“I like being able to wear leggings and sweatpants, but I don’t like having to choose what I wear everyday,” she said. 

Raven is also involved in volleyball at Bellwood, a sport she also she also played at BG.

“I love my team and coaches. My coach from BG and Coach Mckinney are both very encouraging and passionate about coaching,” Raven explained. 

Overall, since moving to Bellwood, Raven has taken on the struggles of coming to a new school, skipping a grade, and senior year with a brave face. 

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