By ELLA MOSCO
The IHS AMBASSADORS are a vital group in our school. Every year the Ambassadors reach out to teachers for recommendations of students that have the potential to become an ambassador. From there the students who were recommended, receive an email to let them know that they were recommended to be an ambassador for IHS.
When asked what exactly an ambassador is, Maura Knepper described the responsibilities of the ambassadors. “IHS Ambassadors is a program that mainly works to welcome and support incoming new students and 9th graders. When a new student enters the district, they are assigned ambassadors who will welcome them, show them around the building, be there to answer questions, and take on the role of a first friend and someone who can be looked to for support and guidance at the school. We also run the beginning of the year 9th Grade Orientation and Welcome Day at which we welcome incoming 9th Graders and new students to the Senior High. Our team includes around 70 students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, and we are currently in the process of onboarding and training the next group of Ambassadors.”
Ambassadors play a big role in keeping the school community all together, in ways most of us couldn’t. To become an ambassador you have to have important characteristics. Knepper explains important characteristics they have, and how the onboarding team selects the students who would be best of fit to the group.
“Ambassadors recruits on a teacher recommendation basis, through which students who are recommended by one or more of their teachers as someone who is kind, trustworthy, and willing to go out of their way to help others have the chance to attend an information meeting, meet current ambassadors, and then apply to become an ambassador themselves. Following that, our Onboarding team reviews applications and selects the next class of Ambassadors. The selection process, which is currently underway, is very competitive, and we know we often have to turn down many worthy candidates as we only accept 25-30 of those who apply to become ambassadors. Having been selected, new Ambassadors are paired with older Ambassador mentors who will guide and support them as they take on this new role in our school, specifically by running a mock tour that gives them the chance to practice welcoming a new student and showing them around the building under the guidance of an experienced Ambassador. Inductees also attend a training meeting where we cover what they should expect as an ambassador and different topics and scenarios that are important to be prepared for.”
Junior Ambassador Caleb Campbell commented, “Ambassadors come from all sorts of different friend groups, interests, and programs at IHS. During the onboarding process, we always try to get a wide variety of people whether they be an athlete or drama member so they can help new students that may have similar interests. Some important traits to have as an ambassador are empathy, kindness, respect, and reliability just to name a few. I’m always an advocate of our ambassadors being really reliable and being able to respond to emails about new students so we don’t have to scramble to find an ambassador. Being able to persevere even after being rejected or pushed away by a new student is another really important quality too.”
“If you’re interested in learning more about what the IHS Ambassadors do in our school, feel free to reach out to our advisor, Mr. Neil, our President, Isaac Myers, or Vice President, Maura Knepper.”