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Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Peer Leadership fights to welcome freshman class

Elizabeth Foulston

For over 23 years, Central’s Peer Leadership club has tried to make every freshman’s first experience in high school a positive one. Over 145 upperclassmen Peer Leaders facilitate this process through phone calls, fundraisers and other group activities. However, due to school constraints, the club has not been able to reach out to the freshmen classes like they’ve wanted to.

“When we started the program we took the freshmen on retreats and had mentoring. We were also doing a lunch program, but now we’re at a point where we can’t do it anymore,” said Laura Milas, the head of the Art Department and one of the faculty members in charge of Peer Leadership.

Central’s freshmen lunch program was a built-in class that met during lunch, where freshmen could ask questions and bond with their upperclassmen leaders; this program was canceled years ago due to space constraints. But Milas said that Hinsdale South High School still has a lunch program that they call Hornet 101, despite their growing population.

“Also, for as long as I can remember, Peer Leadership has been asking the school board for a Freshmen Day at the beginning of the school year. We’ve never gotten it,” Milas said.

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Lyons Township High School has a Freshmen Experience Day, where the new students are able to become acquainted with the school without the upperclassmen, followed by a dance they call “A Fresh Night Out;” an idea that Milas wishes to emulate at Central.

Principal Michael McGrory said, “We would love to do that but if we did, it would be a pretty significant cost. We would also have to do it in unison with South, because we’d have to coordinate the buses. I really like the idea, and we’ve talked about how we can do it in the future, but we just don’t have some of those variables figured out.”

Whether or not changes will ever be implemented to give Peer Leadership more time to welcome the incoming classes, the club continues to guide and support freshmen every year.

Jake Hall, junior and member of Peer Leadership, said, “We’re trying to help the freshmen get better oriented with the school, allow them to become better participants and be happier children.”

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