Gateway: Living

Key Peninsula Middle School Web Leaders help ease transition for incoming sixth-graders

Key Peninsula Middle School teacher Jennifer Durham speaks encouragingly with incoming sixth-graders during orientation last week.
Key Peninsula Middle School teacher Jennifer Durham speaks encouragingly with incoming sixth-graders during orientation last week. Courtesy

I’d like to give special thanks this week to my good friend and fellow volunteer photojournalist Molly Duttry, a 2015 Student of Distinction and Peninsula High School graduate who will be a freshman this fall at the University of Washington. For her efforts, while I am out of the area vacationing with my bride, Janice, Kids’ Corner will not go wanting. Duttry did all the photography and interviewing for this one. Her only complaint: “The lighting in the school was funky and hard to work with.”

I didn’t notice; her photos are right on as far as I’m concerned!

Last week at Key Peninsula Middle School, 2015 Leader Web Team volunteers — all eighth-graders — spent two days greeting, advising and providing guided tours of the KPMS facility to members of the incoming sixth-grade class.

“Web Leaders help create a positive supportive atmosphere for the school,” said KPMS leadership teacher Jennifer Durham. “They help the sixth-graders realize that when working together they can be more successful.”

Web Team volunteer Chloe Duttry, Molly’s younger sister, said, “I chose to be a Web Leader to help the sixth-graders feel more comfortable at school. When orientations started, the kids were shy and acted like they didn’t want to be there, but by the end of orientation they were excited.”

Web Leader Emily Jenkins chose to be a Web Leader “because it seemed fun, and I like helping out the school.” Fellow Web Leader Lily Roberts became a Web Leader “because I wanted to make the sixth-graders feel comfortable, and I thought it would be fun.”

Gabe Cook became a Web Leader because he wanted to help the sixth-graders “be respectful, responsible, safe and kind.”

“The Web Leaders showed us around the building, they made me feel accepted, and that I had a group of friends at KPMS,” declared incoming sixth-grader Christopher Oughten.

“Orientation made me feel more prepared starting sixth grade,” Carmen Bundrick said.

Incoming sixth-grader Naomi Wenning-Gates said, “The Web Leaders were nice and friendly, they made me feel like I was part of the school.”

Nothing more need be said.

Mission accomplished!

Thanks, Molly. Have a GREAT University of Washington experience.

Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at hmcmnp1000@centurytel.net.

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