WARREN, NJ - Sixteen administrators at Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) “shadowed” students on Thursday, May 25 and Friday, May 26, as part of “A Day in the Life of a Student,” an initiative of the school’s Wellness Committee.
Part 2 of the Day In The Life shadowing experience is expected to take place in the Fall, when a group of teachers will shadow other students. It is all in an effort to help administrators and teachers better understand what it is like to “walk in the shoes” of students through typical school day experiences at WHRHS.
Following a full day of sitting through class, negotiating changes in class locations, sometimes from one end of North Building to the other end of South Building, and waiting in lines for lunch, and other sometimes complex and sometimes mundane day-to-day activities of the everyday life of a high school student,administrators and teachers hope to be better able to make more informed and better decisions about what administering to and teaching students, according to Patricia Toubin, Vice Principal for 11th and 12th Grades. Toubin, along with Student Assistance Counselor Julie Kumpf, are Wellness Committee Co-Chairs.
“The Day in the Life of a Student is just one initiative of the Wellness Committee, one of the many working committees of administrators, teachers, parents, volunteers, and guest experts. They have been helping WHRHS to implement its strategic plan throughout the 2016-2017 school year, Toubin said.
“One goal of the plan is to create and expand programs and services that enhance the social and emotional wellness of all students within a compassionate learning community,” she said.“To address this goal, a Wellness Committee was formed. The committee decided that a good place to better understand student wellness is by experiencing what their typical days are like, and so, ‘A Day in the Life of a Watchung Hills Student’ was planned.”
Kumpf added, “Staff members were given the opportunity to experience what a student's day is like by following their school schedule and then meeting the next day to discuss the experience. Administrators and teachers were enlightened by the experience and their findings will be shared with the staff. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in this experience next year.”
In addition to Toubin and Kumpf, other administers who participated in the Day In The Life” program are: Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett; Principal George Alexis; Vice Principal for 9th and 10th Grades Terry MacConnell; Vice Principal for Special Services Students Steven Searfoss; Director of Human Resources Beth Scheiderman; Director of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Ellen Phelan; History/Social Studies Supervisor Anita Falvo; World Languages Supervisor Brad Commerford; Arts, Health/Physical Education and Co-Curricular Activities Supervisor Dan Bertelli; English Supervisor James Aquavia; Director of Science, Instructional Technology, and Assessment Michael D'Alessio; Student Assistance Counselor Gwen Blake; Mathematics and Business Supervisor Susan Sheldon; Social Studies Teacher Evan Oftedal; and Mathematics Supervisor Dan Twizler.
The students who participated are: Esha Mamtaney, Patricia DePinho, Catherine Baker, Christa Sarrico, Jenna Woo, Gianna Tautonico, Rebecca Baitel, Kevin Caracappa, Angelia Seda, Michael Hopwood, Jillian Rakin, Myah Toubin, Zachary Velling, Rachel Simons, and Matt King.
Other Sub-Committee Chairs of the Wellness Committee are: Wellness/Spirit Activities, Maureen Kelly; Healthy Edge Website, Nick DiNizio; Wellness Professional Development,Patricia Toubin; Healthy Edge Suggestion Boxes: Patricia Toubin; Healthy Edge Lunch Groups: Julie Kumpf; Wellness Classroom Curriculum: Jill Gleeson and Caitlin Brennan; Wellness Day: Gwen Blake and Perri Martins; and Wellness Database Coordinator: Julie Kumpf.
For more information about this and other initiatives, visit the Healthy Edge site at the school's web page www.whrhs.org.