What is the Senior Advisor program at Neuqua

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Picture of Neuqua Valley High School. Neuqua’s Senior Advisor program has helped seniors emerge into young leaders while helping freshmen learn valuable life lessons.

Maya Stone, Staff Writer

          The Senior Advisory program at Neuqua Valley High School is a competitive and “an accredited Social Studies course” that welcomes seniors to teach and lead freshmen every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of the week. While attending those classes at the freshmen building, Senior Advisors are also expected to attend a Student Advisory seminar class on Wednesday and Friday  to “prepare for upcoming lessons in Freshmen Advisory, reflect on past lessons, and participate in activities to work on… leadership experience and skills,” as stated on the application form. This year, COVID-19 has made Senior Advisory look much different from past years. While the Advisory program in the past occurred three times a week from 7:20-7:40am, this year it takes place from 1:45-2:15pm on Mondays. 

Picture of Neuqua Valley’s logo. The schools mascot is Willie the Wildcat. (neuquastudent.org)

          While a large number of students apply to become a Senior Advisor, only a select handful are chosen to represent the Neuqua Senior Advisory Program. The process to become an advisor includes a written application and an interview with a teacher. Led by social studies teachers Amanda Kontos and Deanna Lindsey, the program values “honesty, tolerance and a welcoming attitude to all students no matter their background or ability.”

          The expectation of Senior Advisors is that they act as leaders in the community and “conduct themselves according to all school rules including on Social Media at all times,” and if a failure to oblige by these rules occurs, an advisor could be removed from the program.

 

          Kontos and Lindsey look for select characteristics when choosing the Senior Advisors for each year. “We look for students that are charismatic, well spoken, creative, and have leadership characteristics to name a few. Every student is different and we want a wide variety of students with different characteristics so we have to look at students as individuals and then as a group so we have different demographics represented.” Their main goal when selecting Senior Advisors is to ensure that the freshmen will “be able to look at the group as a whole and see someone who represents them.”

Picture of the Senior Advisor logo. Senior Advisors are selected in February this year. (Senior Advisory Google Classroom)

 

          Iza Brencis, a senior, has enjoyed being a part of the Advisory program. “I honestly really like being a Senior Advisor. I’m hoping to possibly be a teacher past college and I thought this was a great opportunity to be able to create lesson plans and get a feel of how it could be.” 

          For those looking to interview for the class, she shares a tip, “They ask you a couple questions, some formal ones and some totally random fun questions” so preparation is key.

 

          Timothy Haas, a math teacher who also has Advisors in his room for the morning,  enjoys being a Senior Advisor teacher since he gets to “see seniors and connect with them on a different level.” 

          Being a Senior Advisor host teacher has shown him how a sense of community is created each year between him, the Advisors and the freshmen. With COVID-19, Pear Deck has been a frequently used tool during advisory as the Senior Advisors are trying to “[teach] the required lessons…[while] connecting and having fun.” He definitely misses the in person aspect of being a Senior Advisor teacher since it is more personal, but his Advisors this year have worked incredibly hard to make up for the lack of personal experience.

 

If you are a junior and interested in applying for the position of a Senior Advisor, join the Google Classroom code 6xf7nq4. 

  1. Fill out the Student Advisory Application form. The form MUST BE COMPLETED by Monday, January 11th.
  2. Ask two staff members/coaches at Neuqua who you have had during your sophomore or junior year (freshman year teachers are excluded) to fill out a Teacher Recommendation form for you. The forms MUST BE COMPLETED by Friday, January 22nd. 
  3. Sign up for an interview slot. The google sheet for times and days can be found on the Google Classroom. Interviews take place from January 12th to January 29th.

The final decision for Senior Advisors at Neuqua Valley will be made February 5th and those who are accepted will receive a personal email either the day of or shortly after.

 

Picture of an infographic for applying to be a Senior Advisor. The process is not difficult and is able to be done by all juniors interested in applying. (@neuquavalley on Instagram)