Freshman mentor program continues to evolve


The 2014-15 mentors pose together at orientation in August.

Cara Giles

The transition from middle school to high school can be intimidating, but this year’s freshman class has 100 upperclassmen mentors looking out for them. The mentor program is in its ninth year of existence and has undergone changes over the years; this year is no different. For example there are less freshman per mentor this year.

“We did four freshmen this year to make it easier for the mentors to connect and keep track of the freshman,” activities director Mrs. Julie Harris said.

In addition to decreasing the number of freshmen on a mentor’s caseload, the freshman and mentors underwent an experience similar to speed dating.

Every ninth grader had two minutes to speak to every mentor and get a sense of who they are. At the end of the activity, they circled who they would love to have as a mentor, who they’d like and who they felt they had little in common with. Finally, freshmen selected their top five mentor choices and Mrs. Harris attempted to get everyone a mentor who they felt they could connect with.

“I think the speed dating helped my mentees get more comfortable with me and made sure everyone got the right mentor,” senior Anthony Andren said.

Freshman Sydney Jones says the program is working.

“It’s cool to have upperclassmen willing to help you,” Jones said. “It’s better than going into high school without any help at all.”

After a full day of freshman orientation over the summer, mentors are expected to make regular contact with their mentees.

“We are more involved now,” Andren said. “I talk to my freshmen at least a few times a week. I see them in the hallway and make sure to ask how they’re doing.”

Jones likes having this contact and feeling connected to the school.

“My mentor Ashley texted me and told me about a ton of fun things to look forward to,” Jones said. “I feel like we are friends.”