PEERing into the Memories of Senior Leaders

PEERing into the Memories of Senior Leaders

As spring rolls around, the AP season is calling, summer plans are starting to be made, and seniors are finally wrapping up their last year of high school. Next year’s Peer Leaders have recently been selected from the junior class to take the place of the current senior Peers.

Peers is a group of seniors selected to be role models and leaders to the freshmen class. With meetings every other E day, Peers get to know the underclassmen and guide them as they make the grand transition from middle school to high school. This experience leaves a positive and welcoming impression of high school on the newcomers. It may also inspire them to become Peers when they become seniors. This cycle of giving and growing builds on the school spirit of bridging the age gap between grades and creating a cohesive school community. Three current senior Peer Leaders — Julian Ahn (’24), Sophia Crosby (’24), and Elliot Yoon (’24) — shared their final thoughts and reflections on this past year.

“I think I wanted to be a Peer because my Peers were really helpful with advice when I was a freshman (especially during COVID) and I wanted to help ‘give back’ my positive experience to the new freshmen,” Yoon said. “I’d say my overall experience has been good and I have my freshman group and my Peer partner to thank for that.”

Transitioning into new environments can be a hard adjustment, especially when it’s easy to get lost in the maze of uncoordinated room numbers scattered across the school. Finding your place within the school can take time, but the support of upperclassmen and teachers helps make this journey something special. Peer Leaders are just one resource out of many that the ninth graders have to make valuable connections, and the Peers’ main role is to be someone reliable who can be called upon for help and advice.

“I’ve loved being a senior Peer this past year!,” Crosby said. “It has allowed me to become a role model to the freshmen as well as share advice that I wish I had known in the transition to high school. Peers also build a sense of community throughout our school, connecting our two grades.”

“I love Peers. I think having Peers allowed me to grow as a leader as well as an individual. The theme is straightforward: lead by example. And with [Ms.] Capone and Barkers[‘s] help, I feel like we’re changing THS bit by bit,” Ahn said. “My favorite memory with Peers was the retreat that we had before school. It was definitely weird coming back to school before the fall, but doing engaging workshops and fun activities made the time go by fast.”

Since September, the current Peer Leaders have been working with the ninth graders, helping to properly introduce them to life at Tenafly High School. When hearing from the freshmen who are now accustomed to the school, it seems that the Peers program has been successful in achieving its goal of creating significant relationships between the oldest and youngest students in the school.

“I think that Peers more than anything just gave me a break in my day,” Maddy Juhng (’27) said. “It was overall a good experience and a lot of my questions were answered. I was able to get more opinions on certain classes and decisions and felt more integrated with the high school.” 

Looking back to when I was first entering Tenafly High School, I remember feeling so lucky to have great Peers. They were people we could talk to about our week and who were there to listen and give advice about challenges we were struggling with, as they encountered those same challenges four years ago. Maybe you remember the delicious snacks, the thorns and roses discussions, or the letters you wrote to your future senior selves, but above it all, it was the sense of close community that was created within these small groups. While the school has fun events to fire up the competitive side of each student as the four grades clash against one another in the epic Olympics showdown, the Peers program demonstrates the simultaneous unity that exists within Tenafly itself. At the end of the day, the student body makes up one Tenafly High School, regardless of whether you are a freshman just getting used to a loaded backpack or a senior preparing for college.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kailyn Cho
Kailyn Cho, Senior Staff Writer
Kailyn Cho ('25) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. She enjoys playing tennis, traveling around the world, and chasing sunsets.