115 Amesbury Line Road
Haverhill, MA 01830
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Whittier Tech Launches Peer Leadership Program to Help Freshmen Through First Year
Peer Leaders Include Students from Amesbury, Groveland, Haverhill, Merrimac and Newburyport
HAVERHILL – Superintendent Maureen Lynch is pleased to announce that a select group of upperclassmen at Whittier Tech are involved in the new Peer Leadership Program to help freshmen transition to a new school.
Whittier Tech launched the program this year, bringing together more than 30 sophomores, juniors and seniors to work with ninth grade students to help them feel more comfortable in a new building and to be successful in their studies. Peer leaders have been visiting freshmen during homeroom periods to talk about meeting people, joining sports teams and clubs, and choosing a vocational-technical program.
“As a peer leader, I try to be the person I wish I had when I was in their shoes,” said junior Rhina Turbucio, of Haverhill. “I know how it feels to be a freshman in a new school and not know anyone or how to get around the school, and I know how stressful it can be to pick a shop. That’s why I wanted to be a part of this program, so I could provide that needed guidance to our newest class members.”
The leadership team meets every Tuesday after school for training, and has participated in workshops on how to start conversations, manage a group and make presentations. Science Teacher Jonathan Warne and Guidance Counselor Rachel Rossi serve as the advisers.
“It can be stressful and overwhelming to be a freshman in high school,” Warne said. “The building is huge, the classes are demanding and there are so many students. On top of that, freshmen are picking a shop they will be pursuing for four years at Whittier. Even though teachers can be a great source to help freshmen, it can be more effective for upperclassmen to help.”
The upperclassmen also see benefits from this program in terms of improving their leadership, communication and problem solving skills.
“It has helped me improve my skills when it comes to leadership and public speaking, which I am very thankful for,” said junior Tabitha Noyes, of Haverhill. “I’ve also met a lot of new students.”
“Helping freshmen is the best thing I’ve done this year,” added junior Kiara Rosa, of Haverhill. “As a freshman I had trouble with things like midterms, finals, shop selection and just connecting with people in general, so I’m happy to be able to assist freshmen who might be having a similar experience.”
This year’s peer leaders are: Noelle Alaboudi, Franciny Arias, Kaylee Cerullo, Kaylan Clarke, Veronica Damian, Andrea DesRoches, Tori Kitchings, Yuris Martinez, Madalyn McCarthy, Peta-Gaye McLaughlin, Julianne Mercado, Cailyn Merrill, Tabitha Noyes, Jamie Orellana, Jayda Phillips, Loraine Rodriguez, Kiara Rosa, Yumairy Rosario, Elian Sanabia, Evelina Sanzo, Tay Uccello and Jeda Varnardo, all of Haverhill; Kyleigh Campbell, Arianna Cavallaro, Seth Denault and Sarah Sanford of Merrimac; Helena MacDonald of Amesbury; Sara Tashijian of Groveland; Isabella Bonvie, Jennifer Demille and Maya Looker of Newburyport.