Making a smooth transition

Madeline Kemper, News Editor/Business Manager

The “Newcomer” program, which is dedicated to helping new students transition into the school, has had a successful start to the year, hosting events and recruiting leadership students as student ambassadors. The initiative, which began last year, was inspired by Guidance Counselor Nick Maby, who moved from North Carolina and saw the difficulties of entering a new school.

“I think our community is very tightly knit and while that has its benefits, it’s hard to be the outsider looking in,” Maby said.

Maby found that new students often find themselves sitting alone at lunch, unsure of organizations to join and lacking peers to attend social events with.

So far the program has been involved in orientation, having student assistants help families get acclimated with the school by giving them tours. This offers guidance counselors the chance to help other students with schedule issues and gives families a friendly, approachable guide.

“Being a student tour guide is a great way for students to make a connection with someone before the first day,” student ambassador Libby Smith said. “The first day is nerve-wracking for anyone, so being comfortable with your schedule can be a big help.”

One of the most successful events was the newcomers pre-football game pizza party, sponsored by PTSA, where students mingled with leadership students, anti-bullying club members and other interested parties. Students attended the football game as a group and were given passes to the football game as well as food and drink.

The program is still looking for ways to involve students and will expand the program. One of Maby’s goals is to make sure that every newcomer is paired with a student ambassador and that they personally send out a welcome email to that family. Students interested can still sign up.

“I can’t wait for this program to grow, because it know it can help reduce bullying drastically and increase the comfort level of students,” student ambassador Tania Imani said.

Any student who is new to the school and would like to be involved can contact guidance.