Academy Ambassadors Participate In Eighth Grade Day


Introducing Westwood’s multitude of electives to over 700 eighth-grade students, the Academy Ambassadors finished their biggest event of the year, Eighth Grade Day, with success. Students from multiple middle schools visited classrooms to learn about the different academies and electives. They also learned about Westwood in general, like the amount of workload or the type of classes they could take. The Ambassadors hoped to help the students decide their future electives based on the space in their schedule and the amount of time that they can commit, since there are so many electives that students can take.

Alongside the eighth-grade students, the Academy Ambassadors also learned how to meet with teachers and partner with them to help organize the event. They developed speaking and explanation skills as they had to retain the attention of at least 20 to 30 eighth-graders at a time. But while they were expanding on their skills, the Ambassadors also became mentors to the students, who were concerned about what Westwood had in store for them. Since the Ambassadors recently had the experience of being freshmen and going through the ropes, they were the ideal people to inform the students on what Westwood is really like.

“I remember when I was an eighth-grader and I was awfully confused. I think it’s great that I can prevent some of that anxiety and confusion for future freshman,” Lennox Kolics ’20 said. “I find the awkward moments funny because the entire room is silent. But it’s like, ‘I know you have questions’ and then finally they ask questions like, ‘Are the bathrooms nice?’. It’s the little things that they get worried about.”

For a lot of returning Ambassadors, Eighth Grade Day is the event that they look forward to the most, as it gives them a chance to talk to eighth-graders, student to student. They want to be advisors to middle school students who may not exactly know what they want to do once they enter high school and beyond.

“This is my fourth year doing Eighth Grade Day, so I’m not nervous because I have so much experience with it,” Altan Nagji ’19 said. “It’s really fun because you have a group of eighth-graders coming in and you get to explain to them [what you do]. It’s exciting to watch them get excited about what I do and that they’ll be able to do it next year too.”

While the day is fun, it does come with some anxieties. Students may not pay attention, or they could be too nervous to really participate in the Ambassadors’ presentation. There was also a slight delay with the arrival of the students, causing some of the presentations to be a bit rushed or to not happen at all.

“The only thing I was nervous about, which did happen, was that our first two groups didn’t show up at all,” Kolics said. “That’s the most anxiety-inducing thing because that’s something you can’t control and you’re very scheduled for time. If you’re having a great discussion with your group you have to cut it off, and if you have a mute group, you have to sit there in silence for the next four minutes and talk at them.”

However, in general, Eighth Grade Day was a success. Although there were some hiccups, students were still able to learn about electives and experience a day at a high school. From Business and Industry to Health Science, each academy was able to showcase the things they had accomplished at this point in the year, and what the middle schoolers could be able to do if they joined that elective or academy.