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Red Hook High School Dares to be Different


As most schools settle into concluding curriculum requirements, preparing for Regents exams, finishing the last games of busy spring seasons and look toward building a September academic schedule, Red Hook High School, begins a new program with such enthusiasm it’s hard not to feel the palpable excitement in the halls.  

While most students took the day off last Tuesday, nearly 70 juniors and a handful of sophomores have found themselves embedded in leadership training to become the inaugural group of Mentors in the new program Mr. McKiernan, the high school principal, started at his school with the support of Mrs. Margaret D’Onofrio and Mrs. Wendy Gentile.  Mrs. D’Onofrio will be coordinating the Mentor Program on a daily basis.  Mrs. Gentile, a retired secondary school administrator with a background in developing leadership and mentorship programs in schools, is providing her expertise to support the launching of this important initiative.  

Students were told about the program in various assemblies, lunchroom presentations and announcements over the past two months.   Applications for Mentors were due a few weeks ago.  Where one might think our students might be winding down, a group of forward thinking, do-gooders, signed up to help our incoming class of 9thgraders next September.   Spending this week in intense training during lunches, after school and on Tuesday’s day off, they work together to find the most meaningful way to help our youngest students.

Sheriff Anderson, Captain Watterson and Sargent Haire all joined the training on Tuesday inspiring our students to be kind and helpful to their younger peers. “Your work with these younger students makes our community a much better place to be.  What you will do makes a difference.”  was the message from the Sheriff.  Dr. Kitty Summers also inspired the group with her words of wisdom and showed a poignant video about not what we do, but WHY we do it.  We look forward to seeing what these inspiring young adults will do to help make the transition to the high school a wonderful experience for all.