Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 27, 2013

Program helps new Niagara-Wheatfield students adjust quickly

Niagara Gazette — Sometimes a little human interaction with a friendly face can make a world of difference, especially to a teenager.

Jaydah Miller, a sophomore student at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, found out quickly this past October just how nice it can be to have someone care about her.

She began September enrolled in Buffalo Public School No. 44 on Broadway. She lived in the city with her friends she’d known for much of her life. She was comfortable. But her family picked up and moved to the Niagara County suburbs and she found herself, after homecoming and spirit week already complete, stepping foot into new, never-before-seen hallways filled with new, never-before-seen people.

“At first, I was like, ‘No!,’” she said. “I’m leaving my friends, I’m starting at a new school. I’m gonna be nervous. I seen all the kids and I said ‘What am I gonna do?.’”

She never even needed to worry, though. Behind the scenes, it turns out, her saving grace was busy preparing for her arrival the day before, ready to make sure the new student didn’t need to be scared to take those first few steps in the hallways.

In anticipation of new transfer students arriving mid-year, Principal Timothy Carter, Career Mentor Lynn Reed and math teacher Ryan Coyne sat down at the beginning of the school year and hashed out a plan to welcome new students in a similar fashion to how colleges greet prospective freshmen.

Using the student council as guinea pigs of sorts, the three constructed the school’s ambassador program, designed to mimic the process colleges and universities use to show off campuses to prospective freshmen and incoming transfer students.

Reed said she’d done enough tours of colleges with her own children to understand the process and formed an ambassador program to keep students coming in from going out of their minds.

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