Peer Leaders 2.0. They’re Back and Better Than Ever!

Remember those great tour guides on Back to School night?   They all had something in common – they participate in Peer Leadership, the program started last year by Ms. Lauren Wells, Ms. Laura Gibson and Ms. Amy Herber, the three program advisors.

Ms.Gibson and Ms.Herber were both Peer Leaders in HS and came up with the idea of bringing it to SHS.  The program’s goal of “character education” starts with training upperclassmen to work in a team format to support under-classmen.  With funding from SEF the program has been able to execute the required training retreats, and the students have raised funds for award dinners and a holiday party.  Peer Leaders are selected based on a holistic set of criteria including grades, interests, diverse backgrounds, and the desire to support others. (Read smart, kind and relate-able. Where were you, Peer Leaders, when I was a HS Freshman?)  Out of 100 students 36 were selected last year and the number of leaders grew to 42 this year.

Ms. Wells summarizes the feedback on a recent survey of Peer Leaders. Peer Leaders said they learned “how to be a leader” and “how to support others”.  Last year they made presentations to the elementary schools, spoke on panels, and met with the Superintendent.

So, what’s in store for 2017?  Peer Leaders set the goal to calm fears of HS for middle school students and to mentor HS freshman.  (Well done, Peer Leaders!)

Ms. Wells holds a BA in History from TCNJ and currently pursues a Master’s at Columbia.  This is her sixth year teaching and her fourth at SHS.  She loves music and concerts.  Last year she brought the Holocaust & Genocide class as an elective to the SHS curriculum (more on that in another feature).