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Friday, September 16, 2016

Highlands Middle School Ambassadors Program Encourages Leadership

"Budding Journalists" is presented by Fort Thomas Subway and owner, James Davis. 
Devlin Cassidy, Juli Russ, and Cassandra Erickson, eighth graders, volunteer during parent night at Highlands Middle School.  The Ambassadors were out in force serving sweets and drinks to parents as well as helping parents find their way through the building.
By Lauren Hellmann

“Setting good examples, being friendly, having good grades, and always working hard are key things for being an Highlands Middle School ambassador,” said Kayma Wolfinbarger, eighth grade ambassador.

At the middle school, several eighth grade students were chosen to be ambassadors. These students are the leaders in the school, and they do many things to help parents, teachers and students. They all have many traits that make them great ambassadors for the middle school.   The ambassadors have even more responsibilities this year, but they are finding out that being in the program is beneficial to them as well.

The ambassadors were chosen based on several criteria. Being an ambassador demands a lot of responsibility when it comes to helping new students at our school. An ambassador must have all A’s and B’s, and is a good representative for the school. They are also selected based on teachers’ recommendations. Mrs. Lori Maines, Guidance Counselor, said, “The seventh grade teachers send the administration 15-20 names of the students they feel have displayed leadership qualities throughout the year to represent Highlands Middle School as an ambassador.”  From there, the students are called in and Mrs. Maines tells the candidates they have been recommended to be an ambassador.  The students can decide they don’t want to be included, but most are honored and join the program.
Fort Thomas Subway presents "Budding Journalists" in conjunction with Fort Thomas Matters and Fort Thomas Living. 

This year, the ambassadors have more responsibilities than in the past. Their duties include: The Eighth Grade Farewell Ceremony, Getting Ready Days, Sixth Grade Transitions Days, Open House, and Girl Power.

Ruby Smith, sixth grader, said, “The ambassadors did a good job helping me because they helped me with my locker. They also told me about their experience such as what to do and what not.” 

This year the new events the ambassadors can help with is Homework Huddle, new student mentors, and Bluebird mentors.  Homework Huddle is an hour long after school program where kids can assign themselves or get assigned by teachers to do their homework, make-up tests, or finish missing assignments.  Along with two teachers, the ambassadors go to Homework Huddle after school and assist students with their homework. New student mentoring helps new students.  The ambassadors touch base with new students 6th, 7th, or 8th grade to better acquaint them with the middle school.

Michelle Chalk, eighth grader, stands ready to assist any parent that needs directions during Highlands Middle School open house.  

“This makes the new students feel comfortable and safe at Highlands while adjusting to a new school,” said Rachel Hoffmann, eighth grader.  Finally, a bluebird mentor meets with 6th or 7th grade student weekly.  These students have special circumstances and require a more one to one with an ambassador.  These students might have issues with grades, friends or just need a friend to talk to.  Mrs. Lee Gatens, Assistant Principal, said, “We wanted our ambassadors to have more choice in how they lead the school.  For example, one ambassador might not feel comfortable showing adults around our building, but they would really excel at tutoring someone in Homework Huddle.  We have such excellent students in our building, and we want them to be seen and heard by our community.”

The ambassador program is an excellent program for teachers and students, but it can also benefit the ambassadors as well. Being  ambassadors gives students a sense of pride and leadership. The experience helps them to become better leaders by setting a good example for all the students. This can be beneficial for high school and college. “Most importantly they get the feeling of pride that they were chosen to serve in this capacity for their school, and additionally they earn many service hours that can be documented for future college scholarships.” Lori Maines said.  Kayla Bolling, eighth grade ambassador said, “I like being an ambassador because I can set good examples, help people, and looks good for high school and college.” 

All of these are things that the ambassadors do help make the middle school a better place for students and teachers. The new opportunities this year give them more choice and focus on each individual’s strength.  They all take great responsibility and show good leadership. “I always be friendly and have a smile on your face,” said Evan Rom, eighth grade ambassador.


Lauren Hellman. Provided. 

Lauren Hellman is this month's winner of "Budding Journalists," sponsored by Fort Thomas Subway. She won a gift card to that Subway location and will be published in next month's Fort Thomas Living, in addition to this space on Fort Thomas Matters.

Lauren Hellman is currently an eighth grader and a journalism student at Highlands Middle School in Mrs. Lisa Birkley's class.  She is lives at home with her mom and dad, Erin and Michael, and her little sister, Elise and her little brother Reed.  When Lauren is not at school, she is a member of Highlands High School JV Dance team and also dances for Dance Realm Studio.

She is also a member of Highlands High School Swim Team.  He favorite subject area right now is science, and if she had to choose a profession today, she said she would probably do something in the medical field.  She commented that she does not write a lot outside of school, but when is writing about something she cares about it is an enjoyable process for her. She said, “I like the journalism class because many of my friends are in there with me.  I also like to do interviews with people for my stories.”  

1 comment:

  1. Great Job Lauren. Wonderful article and I'm very proud of the work you are doing and how all of you HMS Ambassadors are representing the Middle School! Great Role Models!