New Squad Program Encourages Mentorship between Upperclassmen and Freshmen


Sofia Cedeño

(l to r): Freshmen Julia Gunster, Sorany Campo, and Anna Gambone are learning a lot from their senior mentors!

Sofia Cedeño, Staff Reporter, Junior

Freshman year can be a rocky one for some. Whether you are new to the school or know the building like the back of your hand, it can be difficult to adjust to the switch from middle school to high school. Fortunately for this year’s incoming freshmen, there is a new program to assist the transition. The Peer Leadership Program has been a project two years in the making, designed to help 9th graders acclimate to high school, and gives juniors and seniors a chance to improve their leadership skills through becoming mentors. Freshmen were divided into different “squads” with around four to five upperclassmen mentors. Squads meet at 9:15 each time there is a two-hour delay or staff development to do activities related to navigating high school, as well as creating bonds with their upperclassmen mentors.

When asked about the goals of the new program, Mr. Rothstein, one of the main creators and contributors of the peer leadership program, said, “Ninth graders will meet new people, learn a lot about the school, have upperclassmen to whom to ask questions and have fun together.”

Along with Mr. Rothstein, Ms. Quintano, the school social worker, has lent a hand to  organizing and supervising the program. Ms. Quintano said, “I hope the program supports the incoming freshmen in their transition into high school. I’ve seen connections being made and the response to the program has been exciting.”

Freshman Mathew Martinez identified what he felt was best about the program. Martinez said, “Getting to know the upperclassmen and actually getting to talk to them. It’s cool to have conversations with them about what to expect in high school.”

The Peer Leadership Program is a new and exciting project that makes our school unique and transforms the struggle of adapting to a new school into a fun experience for all parties involved.