DERRY — Pinkerton Academy senior Patty MacIsaac said when she was a freshman she would have liked a program like this.
Pinkerton’s new mentor program is now in full swing, putting upperclassmen into the freshmen environment to serve as leaders and offer support.
The goal is to help transition the new ninth-graders into the Pinkerton campus.
About 70 student mentors make up the program, meeting regularly with freshmen to talk about a variety of subjects.
Faculty trained the student mentors prior to the beginning of this school year.
The program makes the freshman transition to high school more personal and positive for the students.
Last week’s topic of discussion was bullying.
Freshman spend half of a lunch period in the mentor program.
Mentors say the program would have had a big impact when they were incoming freshmen.
“This would have helped me a lot,” Pinkerton junior Richard Charity said.
He said coming to a school the size of Pinkerton was daunting.
“This helps them assimilate into the school; there are so many different things,” he said. “Its just a big step.”
Even simple things like knowing what the annual Mack Plaque is or what clubs are available are all important bits of information for a freshman.
Freshman English teacher Rebecca Noe said she has heard nothing but positive feedback from students and parents about the mentor program.
“They like how much better their experience is as a freshman,” she said.
Pinkerton freshmen are part of a curriculum just for them — Freshman Seminar — a course on how to be a freshman at the school.
The mentor program supports that freshman world, offering more information and support from older students who want to help.
Carolyn Malo, a senior from Auburn, and said she wanted to be a mentor for the experience.
“I want to be a teacher,” she said.
Her fellow senior mentor, Patty MacIsaac, said being a mentor gives her a good feeling of helping others who are new to the school.
“We never really had this when I was a freshman,” she said. “I was scared of seniors.”
Mentors will deal with students’ feelings, help them get around campus and help them better understand how Pinkerton works.