Dexter Elementary School to begin student ambassador program

By Danielle Davis, Bayonet & Saber /

“We met as strangers. We leave as friends.”

That’s the idea behind Dexter Elementary School’s student ambassadors program, said Terri Hall, the military family life counselor.

Hall has made plans to have the words adorn a banner in the school’s halls. She’s been assisting Edwina Smith, the school’s principal, with the program.

The program is going to consist of students from kindergarten through fifth grade. They’ll help the new students as they transition into Dexter and current students as they leave Dexter, explained Smith.

“It’s very important for the kids as well as the parents to feel comfortable here. Students aren’t going to put more effort into learning if they can’t find their place socially,” added Hall.

This program is going to help the new students connect. There’s some who come in right away and are able to adapt, but for those who are more introverted, it’s hard, said Smith.

Katelyn Baltazar, a fourth-grader at Dexter Elementary School, will be one of the student ambassadors.

“As members of this program, we’re going to welcome the new students here and say goodbye to them with a ceremony,” said Baltazar.

Smith believes that the program will offer students the support they need during this time.

“They’ll have someone to be their buddy, show them around and get them acclimated to the new school environment. As for the students leaving, there will be a ceremony where we offer them a keepsake, something to take with them as they move on,” she said.

Smith hopes that the students will carry the program’s message with them.

“I want them to think of Dexter as more than just another place they passed through. I want them to know that the people here cared enough about them to welcome them and say goodbye as they left,” Smith said.

It’s really important that military connected children know that they’re just not going from place to place, she added.

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