By Hunty Brown
Anybody who has ever applied to a private high school knows the feeling of being completely overwhelmed. At first, the prospect of a shadow visit sounds awesome and a fun way to miss class. Sometimes, the student you are shadowing even calls you the night before to let you know what you will be doing the next day. Everything is perfect, until you get cold feet right before you walk on campus.
Being a middle schooler in the presence of high school kids is not only stressful, but scary. As if the two foot, seventy pond differential wasn’t enough, high school kids seem to move at a much more rapid pace. Unless you know somebody at the school, visiting by yourself and going to classes can be a lonely experience that leaves you with a bad impression. Unfortunately, this impression sticks and will determine your opinion of the high school.
The Student Ambassador program has always been around, but has been ramped up this year.
“It is now part of the Leadership Program,” said Assistant Director of Admission Wendy Sturges. “Only juniors and seniors can be Ambassadors.” This change gets students who know the school well matched up with visitors. Also, Haiku has provided Ambassadors with an easy way to check tour schedules and prepare for lunch panels.
This year also marked the unveiling of the new Admissions Center. Located on the bottom floor of Founders Hall, the center is home to the Admission Office staff as well as a common area for visiting.
“We wanted a nice reception spot to take the place of the waiting area upstairs,” said Sturges. The designers in Sturges, Director of Admission and Financial Aid Tim Simpson, Director of Facilities Mark Gosselin, and other members of the facilities staff have succeeded in creating a warm, welcoming environment that is both practical and attractive.
Visitors are ushered in to sit and chat by the fire while being offered coffee and Bullis paraphernalia. Student Ambassadors are also encouraged to come in and study or hang out while being “on call” to answer questions. With the recent boom in number of applicants, there is no better place to show off Bullis’ spirit and welcoming nature to prospective students and their families.
Positions for Student Ambassadors for 2013-14 will be filled this spring so students are encouraged to see Mrs. Sturges in the Admissions Center if they are interested.
Images courtesy of Hunty Brown