The Reign of the Class of 2020

By Jordyn Jacobson

As the Senior Class of 2019 gets ready to graduate and go off to college, the Junior class prepares to take over next year. Many have been waiting to apply for senior leadership positions since they were just freshmen, and the time has finally come. Junior Jake Wild says that applying for Mentor was “kind of surreal because I have been waiting to apply for such a long time. I was finally given the opportunity to become the person I looked up to as a freshman.”

Mentor is just one of the many leadership positions offered at Byram Hills. In addition to mentoring freshman students, rising seniors are also given the opportunity to be a peer leader for sophomores in health classes, a TA for Regents Chemistry classes, and even a TA for computer science classes. Each position has its own unique application process.

Johnny Cozza describes that “the Mentor process wasn’t too hard. There was a written assignment that required students to explain why we wanted mentor and what we would do in certain scenarios. The second part was creating a demo practice lesson. The third and final part of the process was actually getting assigned a practice partner and performing in front of actual freshman. It was kind of nerve-racking but once I got into it, it came to me naturally.” Mentor is the first class that incoming freshmen attend, and it is the guiding force through their first semester of Byram Hills. Matt Leavy explains that he “love[s] working with younger people and would really like to help them succeed in high school”.

Junior Kate Klein explains that the peer leader application included “writing two essays about why an individual wants to be a peer leader and why being drug and alcohol-free is so important.” She felt that it was “crucial that we address these questions”. She went on to say that she “had a one on one interview with Mr. Carp to talk about [her] past leadership positions and prominent role in the community”.

The Chemistry Teaching Assistance program is in existence to help Regents chemistry students through the difficult curriculum. Ali Lehman explains that she “filled out an application with personal questions and why [she] wanted to be Chem TA.” She says that she “ needed to teach a lesson about the difference between ionic and covalent bonding, followed by a spontaneous question.” She explains that she “want[s] to be Chem TA because her understanding of chemistry has grown over the year”. Like many others applying for the position, she would like to share her knowledge on the subject and how it relates to real-life problem-solving.  

Finally, there is the Computer Science TA position. Junior Reese Tateo explains that “we made a presentation and presented to the AP Computer Science class, the TAs, and the teachers.” She feels that “this is a good opportunity because, for an individual who is interested in studying computer science in college, this is the first major step”. For both TA positions, students are given the opportunity to teach the subjects that they are passionate about. This will better prepare them for college and the future and it will be an overall positive, engaging experience.

The leadership decisions will be rolling in on Wednesday, April 10, and the Class of 2020 will be waiting anxiously. The competition is high for the limited spots available; however, there is no doubt that whoever ends up acquiring them will be successful leaders and role models for the students at this school. As Junior Cassandra Kaufman says, “Senior leadership positions have been a guiding light in our community and have provided security in an environment of uncertainty.”