San Marco school ambassadors get dressed up for the job

San Marco school ambassadors get dressed up for the job
Fifth-graders Parker Shell, Henry Cosper, Grant Tedder, James Cook and Gavin Duva are just a few of the many Hendricks Ave Elementary School ambassadors.

Thanks to Beth Seeker, teacher of gifted students at Hendricks Avenue Elementary School, the 50 or so fifth-grade students who serve as school ambassadors have a new look, bringing back the more formal “dress whites” previously worn by the school safety patrol.

The ambassadors are composed of two student groups – the fifth-grade patrol and the Leaders of Tomorrow – which were joined a few years ago. Prior to the merger, the two groups wore different uniforms, then after they became one group they adopted T-shirts and khaki bottoms (shorts, slacks or skirts) as their uniform.

“The uniforms for either group were never discontinued, just relaxed to accommodate a much larger group of children doing different things around campus,” said Seeker. “The motivation to bring back the ‘whites’ was simple – bring back a longstanding tradition from Hendricks Avenue, and with it an expectation of service, discipline, and strong character by those wearing it.”

The new uniform is a white shirt, white bottoms (slacks, skirt, shorts), and a navy tie. During the cooler months, they may wear a white long-sleeve shirt. The ambassadors wear them each Friday and on special occasions, according to  Erin Lenhart, fourth-grade teacher and Ambassador sponsor for three of the past four years.

“We have a flag raising ceremony about once a month and all of the ambassadors participate in that. They then lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance,” said Lenhart.

“The ambassadors have always worn some type of uniform, but this year we reverted back to a uniform that they wore a few years ago,” she said. “It’s a classic look and I think does a better job of making them stand out compared to the uniforms we have used in the recent past.”

Lenhart said the ambassadors are typically the first point of communication for many of the school families, assisting with the car pool lanes in the mornings and afternoons. “Our patrols are spread throughout the campus to help ensure safety during our busiest times.”

She said student ambassadors are chosen based on criteria such as attendance, grades, and conduct. “They have worked hard to earn a spot as an ambassador and they deserve to stand out and earn that recognition.”

“The response from our faculty has been very positive,” Seeker said. “With the more formal and traditional dress, the kids really stand out, forcing them to act as examples to other students and to one another.”


By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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