Announcing Peer Group and Mentor Leadership Leaders for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Top row (L-R): Maggie Betkowski ’21, Harriet Brown ’22,
Anna Deavers ’21, Elizabeth Flaherty ’21, and Monique Garcia ’22.
Row 2: Clara Getty ’21, Rose Potter ’21, Jolie Viener ’21,
Kate Prentiss ’21, and Evan Howley ’22
Row 3: Khoa Nguyen ’22, Gordy Simon ’21, Matthew Tavarez ’22, 
Ekow Daniels ’21, and Marlee Ecton ’21.
Row 4: Dalila Melkumova ’21, Amelia Page ’21, Annika Stewart ’21,
Ryan Bland ’21, and Andrew Yuen ’21.

Since 1985, incoming ninth graders at Mercersburg Academy have participated in a program called Peer Group, a group of 10 to 14 fellow ninth graders who meet weekly with two upper-class leaders to discuss topics ranging from the location of buildings on campus to homesickness to preparing for exams and so on. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, Mercersburg began offering a sister program called the Mentor Leadership Program, which is designed specifically for incoming 10th graders as they acclimate to life at Mercersburg.

Each spring faculty and current Peer Group and Mentor Leadership leaders evaluate applications to choose the next group of leaders for both programs. The applicant pool is often large, and this year was no exception (49 applicants for 20 positions). Mercersburg is excited to welcome Maggie Betkowski ’21, Harriet Brown ’22, Anna Deavers ’21, Elizabeth Flaherty ’21, Monique Garcia ’22, Clara Getty ’21, Rose Potter ’21, Jolie Viener ’21, Kate Prentiss ’21, Evan Howley ’22, Khoa Nguyen ’22, Gordy Simon ’21, Matthew Tavarez ’22, and Ekow Daniels ’21 as next year’s Peer Group Leaders. We congratulate Marlee Ecton ’21, Dalila Melkumova ’21, Amelia Page ’21, Annika Stewart ’21, Ryan Bland ’21, and Andrew Yuen ’21 as next year’s Mentor Leadership leaders. 

“What I especially love about the Mentor Leadership and Peer Group programs is the value they provide for the new students, and as importantly, the growth our leaders exhibit through the programs,” says Betsy Cunningham, faculty adviser for both programs. “Our leaders this year were magnificent, and our school culture has absolutely benefited as a result. We were excited to have 49 applicants this spring, and the selection process is always extremely difficult; however, we are very much looking forward to working with the new class of PG and ML leaders next year.”

Watch this message from current Peer Group leader Natalie Titus ’20 to learn more about the program and hear her message to next year’s leaders.

Alex Coenajerts ’20, a current leader for the Mentor Leadership program, gives her perspective and shares this message with next year’s leaders.

New leaders will complete training during August and then begin to work with their groups of new students during Mercersburg’s opening week. The Mentor Leadership program concludes at the end of the fall term, and Peer Group continues through February of a ninth grader’s first year. Faculty advisers for the Peer Group and Mentor Leadership programs include Cunningham, Will Whitmore, Rachel Mallory, and Coleman Weibley.

Check out these previous issues of the Mercersburg Academy magazine to learn more about the Peer Group program and its newer sister program, Mentor Leadership.