The Student News Site of Westfield High School

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The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

A guide to high school: Panel allows for underclassmen to learn from upperclassmen

On Nov. 30, the WHS Counseling Department hosted its annual Q & A for underclassmen. Each year, a group of seniors is selected by their respective counselors to speak to current freshmen and sophomore students and their parents. Many people attended the event, some of whom attended with their entire family.

Guidance Counselor Paul Valenzano said, “[The counselors] are asked to recommend some students [to speak] who we think will be a good fit based on a cross-section of students.” According to Valenzano, it is most important that the sample of students is diverse and encourages different perspectives on the questions the students will be responding to.

The event, organized by Director of Counseling Falynn Balassone, was held in the auditorium. The selected speakers were set up on the stage and a PowerPoint presentation was delivered, highlighting some of the main takeaways from the evening such as the process of joining after-school clubs and the importance of building relationships at WHS.

As the early years of high school are transitional for students and parents alike, it is only natural that both parties would have questions. Attendees sent in these inquiries beforehand in which they asked about the academic and social changes that come with entering WHS. The senior group was ready to help and gave worthwhile advice on these subjects.

Senior Aviva Solovey, one of the students on the panel, said, “I truly felt as though I had a big impact on both the students and parents as I was helping them learn about various topics through my own past high school experiences.”

Taking advantage of the open microphone, Solovey responded to questions about friend groups and high school cliques, reassuring the audience members that although social lives are bound to change, there is no reason to be anxious about it.

Solovey noted that she had also benefited from this event. “[The panel] also gave me the chance to reflect on myself and helped me realize how much I’ve grown since I was a freshman. I am incredibly grateful that I was given the chance to be on the panel with a few fellow seniors and offer insight to the crowd about how to navigate more comfortably and confidently through high school and beyond,” she said.

Lasting just over an hour, the panel was able to answer questions about WHS that have left some students and their parents feeling anxious. Valenzano said, “We have done the panel several times in the past. We hope to answer whatever questions 9th and 10th graders and their parents have about what the future looks like. Whether [the questions] are [regarding] selecting classes or the college process, it is so they all have a better understanding of what to expect in the upcoming years.”

The event seems to have achieved its goal. It not only gave seniors the opportunity to reflect on their own high school careers, but also allowed them to pass the torch to the underclassmen at WHS.

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