WMS Peer Leaders teach and inspire


Bry Cosme

INTRODUCTION TO PEER LEADERS: Ciara, Nashly, and Taylor pose for a picture in front of the school.

WMS has started a new program as of 2023 called Peer Leaders. Peer leaders are a group of students that are chosen to help, guide, and make the school a better place. 

Mrs.Washington, founder of the Peer Leaders Program, has always wanted to create a program to help guide students. She commented, “I love it, I am a component of wanting to help others.” Because of that, Washington came up with the idea to create the program, based on a club she had been a part of during her time teaching at Woodbridge High School called the Freshmen Mentors Program.

Mrs. Washington “loves”” that she is able to help out and contribute to the school. So she knew that when she came down to the middle school level she would incorporate the idea of the club, and make what is now known as the Peer Leaders Program.

On Warrior Wednesdays the Peer Leaders go down to 7th and 6th grade homerooms to help out with the activities and teach the younger kids various lessons. Many homeroom teachers appreciate the help, and love the idea of students teaching students. Mrs.Steinberg said, “It helps with connectivity; the students see kids leading and it makes them strive to be leaders.” 

Numerous teachers agree that kids relate and listen to peers more than to adults. 

Mrs.Burke explained, “Students engage better when it’s their peers instead of it always being adults telling them what to do… So if we can get students to engage more in the learning process and helping each other out, I think that would be fantastic too.”

When asked whether or not she had seen an impact on students with peer leaders teaching them lessons like anti-bullying Burke replied, “Some students are probably more comfortable talking to their peers than they are to adults, and that even if it helps one or two students in that classroom environment it’s totally good.” 

Being in Peer Leaders is a big responsibility but can also be very fun. Some students in Peer Leaders are Nashly Baez, Ciara Murphy and John Lande.      

Ciara Murphy, an 8th grader at WMS, is a part of the peer leaders. She got into peer leaders because of teachers recommending her to do things that involve the school and to have a good resume. She thought it was a good program to be in because of how she wanted to help younger people and teach them. Murphy said, “I’ve always had [a love for] people, especially [working with] little kids.”

Murphy also added a lesson she learned during the peer leadership process, “When you learn something at a younger age you kind of imply it to your older self.”  

Nashly Baez, an 8th Grader at WMS, is another student that is a part of peer leaders. She’s an honor student, has a good personality, and would like to think of herself as a leader.  Nashly Baez joined peer leaders because she likes being able to represent the school and she strives to help others and to be active with the school. Nashly said, “It’s a really good program to be in. You learn so many new things, and it’s great to be in a program that will show you how to be more of a leader and you know, teach you how to help and guide others.”

8th grader, John Lande, is another WMS student that is a part of the Peer Leaders program. Throughout middle school Lande has joined many clubs, and has tried to stay active with the school in as many ways as possible. Lande said,  “Something that made me want to join peer leaders was being able to lead our school and make it a better place, which is something that I had already been trying to do.”

While being in Peer Leaders, Lande realized that he was a better public speaker then he initially thought he was, and that being able to interact and guide kids has given him confidence. Overall, he thinks that it’s a great club to be in. 

After reading this article if anyone is interested in joining Peer Leaders you can visit Mrs. Washington. Peer Leaders is a great club and they would be pleased to see you.