SLT unveils new ‘Department of the Month’ program

The group hopes to get more students involved through the new plan


By Margaret Mellott

Before heading to class, senior Adam Gillette fills out one of the new department of the month forms on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

Braden Shaw, JagWire editor-in-chief

After implementing a “Teacher of the Month” program last year, SLT is re-branding the program to “Department of the Month,” where a department of teachers and staff members is recognized each month. Instead of having students write letters to random teachers, students now will write letters to teachers of a certain department.

The letters will then be reviewed by members of the Teacher-Student relations group in SLT then distributed to teachers’ mailboxes. A lack of accountability and attention to detail were major reasons for changing the program, according to senior Sam Lopez.

“It was really disorganized last year. We had maybe three people show up to deliver forms for teacher of the month,” Lopez said. “Sometimes students would respond with inappropriate stuff or jokes or non-serious stuff. I’m hoping that by doing this, we’ll be able to look through the letters and just double-check to make sure nothing is inappropriate there and that teachers get something they appreciate.”

The program was actually supposed to start in October, but time and resources proved to be obstacles that the group encountered, according to communication arts teacher Ashley Agre.

“The actual act of getting the forms handed out and picked up, as frequently as we tried to do it, was difficult,” Agre said. “Just trying to figure out what we were going to do and how we were going to do it [was difficult]. There’s also a lot of departments and not a lot of months left. How we’re going to structure it come second semester [is the challenge].”

Once the program was finally implemented, posters were made to promote the program and hung up outside the counseling office and above water fountains. Also, each student in the group is writing a letter to a teacher so each teacher will receive a letter.

Lopez is relieved that the group’s plans have finally come to fruition.

“I’m glad we were able to actually get something done,” Lopez said. “We were struggling a bit for awhile there. Now we actually have something physically set up which helps the whole process.”

Agre hopes that by re-imagining this program it will boost morale for both the faculty and the student body as a whole.

“We’re just trying to make Mill Valley a positive atmosphere and have people enjoy coming here,” Agre said. “The winter months can get rough and cold and dark. We’re just putting smiles on people’s faces to make them love Mill Valley.”

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