Every year, students rise to another grade level. For many freshmen, Gilmour is a brand new school. To help incoming freshmen adjust, the Middle School and Freshman Guidance Counselor, Mr. Pfundstein (`93), and the Freshman and Sophomore Guidance Counselor, Mr. Kazel, have created a group called Courage 2 Act Crew.
This program pairs an incoming freshman with a rising junior to help ease the transition into high school. The Courage 2 Act Crew has three goals to help the Gilmour community socially and academically.
1) The first function is to build relationships socially with leaders and their assigned freshmen. Several times during the year, Courage 2 Act leaders and freshmen will participate in social events including sporting events, eating lunch together, and attending movie nights.
Mr. Kazel says that this upcoming 2010-2011 school year will be much
different from this past year. He says,“I think that our Courage 2 Act Crew will share the best solution. For instance, juniors, having already completed their freshman year will help the incoming freshmen this upcoming school year. Juniors need to share what the challenge is, and I believe that freshmen will be affected a lot from their superiors.”
2) This committee also promises to help the incoming freshmen who have academic challenges. Its leaders will assist grade level counselors by visiting freshman classes several times throughout the year, teaching structured lessons on topics such as available
resources, time management, study habits, healthy choices, leadership, and acting excellence. Courage 2 Act leaders will meet several times a year with their freshmen to check grades and support their academic progress.
Younger students should learn from older students who have had a variety of experiences, successes, and challenges. This time together is designed to give freshmen the skills needed to be successful during their high school years and beyond.
According to Mr. Kazel, the first two goals of the Courage 2 Act Crew are for the incoming freshmen to have access to needed advice and guidance from the juniors. Mr. Pfundstein (`93) says, “I think that the committee will make the school life smoother because it will help freshmen both academically and socially. Freshmen and juniors will develop friend-
ships and build strong connections.”
3) The third goal is to for therising juniors to further develop their leadership skills. Courage 2 Act leaders are encouraged to make individual contact with their freshmen through leader-initiated meetings. This helps to develop the personal relationship that will allow leaders to be a support throughout the year.
The Courage 2 Act Crew committee consists of 58 juniors, about one hundred freshmen, Mr. Kazel and Mr. Pfundstein (`93). Also included are Ms. Brubaker, the Dean of Student Development and Guidance, Mr. Teisl, the Dean of Student Life and Discipline, and Ms. Saunier, the Assistant Director of Admissions.
For training, leaders must attend two workshops. The next will be in August. In these workshops, Courage 2 Act Crew leaders will learn how to be effective communicators by acting as strong mentors with conflict resolution skills.
Courage 2 Act Crew promises to be a helpful new program that will make a smoother transition into high school as well as draw the school closer together.