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Peer Leadership (SPLASH)

Advisor: Mrs. Christofely

Currently, Ms. Margaret Christofely, Student Assistance Counselor, is the advisor to the Peer Leadership Program.  Ms. Christofely has a Master’s degree in Social Work and is a New Jersey State Licensed Clinical Social Worker. If you have any questions about the Peer Leadership Program, please feel free to contact me at (609) 397-2060 x1206.

South Hunterdon Regional High School has made a commitment to the implementation of a Character Education Program in order to combat bullying behavior and foster tolerance of individual differences.  As part of our commitment, all 7th grade students are invited to participate in SPLASH, a student-helping program at South Hunterdon.  This is an overview of the Peer Leadership Program for your information. 

Overview

The purpose of the peer leadership program is to focus on communication skills, peer mediation, and to help students take responsibility and constructively solve their own conflicts.

The goals of the program are to:

  1. Build self-esteem
  2. Resolve peer disputes that interfere with the educational process
  3. Increase student participation
  4. Improve school environment by decreasing tension and hostility
  5. Develop critical thinking
  6. Develop practical life skills
  7. Promote a safe and drug free community

It is imperative that all students participating in this program have a strong sense of commitment and community.  Also, it is important that students exhibit responsibility and non-judgmental view of their peers.

We believe the program will instill a more cooperative school environment and improve student to student, and student to teacher relations.

Program Requirements

Students interested in applying to the Peer Leadership Program must meet the following criteria:

  1. Current full-time 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students.
  2. A minimum of a “C” average.
  3. Must be alcohol & drug free.
  4. Submit an essay as to why they believe they would make a good peer leader.
  5. Obtain written recommendations from two current academic teachers.
  6. Evaluated by entire faculty on the following character traits:

Character:
Meets pledges and responsibilities to the school promptly
Demonstrates highest standards of honesty and responsibility
Cooperates with school regulations
Demonstrates concern for others
Demonstrates reliability

Leadership:
Demonstrates leadership in the classroom or organized work
Demonstrates leadership in promoting school offices for positions of responsibility.    
Exemplifies positive qualities and attitudes.

Rapport with Peers:
Responds to others in a positive manner
Respects the feelings and opinions of others even when he/she disagrees
Communicates self-confidence in most situations without arrogance
Displays flexibility and openness in his/her relations with others
Seems to be understanding of and interested in others
Shows and interest in the welfare of others while not neglecting his/her own needs

Training

Peer Leaders and advisors participate in a full day training program conducted by Dr. V. Alex Kehayan, Ed.D.  V. Alex Kehayan is an educator, psychologist, and author.  He is the director of Edu-Psych Inc, a comprehensive network of practitioners who provide training, workshops and personal improvement programs for children, adults, and professionals.  The author has developed new peer approaches offering training and consulting to a variety of peer programs throughout the nation.  Dr. Kehayan is currently the president of the New Jersey Peer Helping Association; a professional organization of peer program coordinators dedicated to promotion standards of excellence.

Dr. Kehayan’s program is researched-based, and has been endorsed by National Association of School Psychologist, National Drug Task Force and the National Mental Health Association.  The training focuses on multi-sensory communication skills, rapport building, and personal change techniques for helping peers to reach others and affect positive outcomes.  This program not only trains peer leaders, it show them how to help others take preventative steps in at risk situations.