Link Crew Welcomes Class of 2026


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Math teacher Kevin Gentz speaks to the crowd of eighth graders and Link Leaders. The Link Crew event began at the stadium and shifted to the high school as the day progressed.

The Albert Lea High School Link Crew, organized by teachers Kevin Gentz and Gina Klennert, welcomed the eighth grade students to the school on Wednesday. The day served as an opportunity for the incoming class of 2026 to tour the high school and adapt to their new surroundings. 

Gentz and Klennert, along with over 50 junior and senior Link Leaders, kicked off the event at Jim Gustafson stadium. The students arrived at the high school between 8:00-8:30 a.m. and made their way to the field, where they received their pre-made name tags and found a seat in the bleachers. 

Gentz led the crowd in a series of activities that involved singing, dancing and partner pillow races to start the day off with some light-hearted entertainment. Shortly after, everyone moved down onto the turf to partake in bonding exercises and become more familiar with their peers and the Link Leaders. 

Just before 10 a.m., the students were divided up into 27 groups and headed back to the high school and their designated classrooms with their respective Link Leaders. For the next two hours, the leaders led their students in problem-solving activities and friendly games that were aimed towards adequately preparing them for their high school experience.  

Around noon, the students donned costumes selected or made by their leaders and took a tour of the school. The tours ended in the cafeteria just in time for lunch. 

Following lunch, Gentz entertained the students in the gym while dozens of student clubs and activities set up booths across the floor. The students then had the opportunity to walk around and visit with the representatives for the various pastimes and learn about all of the extracurriculars ALHS has to offer. 

The last event of the day was a class schedule run-through. The students spent eight minutes in each of their classes, where they had a chance to meet their teachers and learn about the course. They were able to practice locating their next class and navigating through busy hallways with Link Leaders and staff ready to assist them. 

The high school doors opened for all students on Thursday, and Link Leaders spent their day greeting students, helping them open lockers and guiding them to their classes. Link Leaders will be available to assist students throughout the year.