Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) There’s a new student movement at Vestal High School. Not one that espouses any particular group,
interest or activity, but one designed to unify all of the students at the school.
Today, 63 students came together for a two-hour workshop to set up a leadership initiative or student mentoring program created by Vestal students for Vestal students.
The students, comprised of members of Vestal High School’s student leadership team, principal’s student advisory team and the “Yes Leads” team, broke up into four groups to ascertain how to manage the new program, how prospective student mentors should be screened and trained, and how to tell incoming ninth-graders about the program and how it works.
Ninth-grader Justin Patricia, who described the program’s mission at the beginning of today’s workshop, provided a freshman’s perspective on why this leadership initiative is a good idea.
He said, “A lot of kids are unsure of themselves when they enter ninth grade. They’re new here, and a lot of times they just need some guidance.”
Junior Pat Milkovich, who presented the program’s goals, gave an upperclassman’s take on how the new program could help Vestal High School.
“This program will also help create a unified school,” he
added. “It can help change the ‘freshmen vs. upperclassmen’ mentality, and it can help ‘create a familiar face,’ so everybody knows each other.” He went on to say, “If something goes wrong, a younger student will have somebody else to go to. They can get a ‘senior’ perspective because
seniors have already been through it.”
The mission of the student mentoring program is to reinforce our belief that Vestal High School is a community of learners who support and care for each other.
We believe that all incoming students should have a positive environment in which to learn and thrive.
Our mission is to create a warm and welcoming school climate for all students, which maximizes their potential for success.
Goals for the pilot program scheduled to be implemented with the 2011-12 school year include:
Improve the transition from middle to high school.
Provide a greater sense of community and belonging.
Foster respectful interactions between all groups of students; thereby reducing
misunderstanding and conflicts.
Increase school pride.
Create a safe learning environment.
Model good relationships between upperclassmen and freshmen.
Increase students’ comfort with academics and social relationships.
Help students navigate the high school campus.
Create opportunities for incoming freshmen to meet new students.
Support each other through successes and struggles.
Promote school unity.
The mission and goals were crafted by students on the 2010-11 principal’s student advisory team, as were the questions and agenda for today’s workshop.
Working with the students as facilitators today were teachers, administrators and other staff from varied departments at the high school.