Patriot Ambassadors provide vital service, welcome newcomers

Leah Starr, Staff Writer

Patriot Ambassadors is a club that meets 10 times year and expects a high level of involvement from their 103 members. They welcome people into the building with the help from their sponsors, social studies teacher Anne-Marie Steppling and Spanish teacher Meredith Lange.

Patriot Ambassadors are students at the schools who- on the most basic level- welcome people into the building. The sponsors mainly act as a connector between the student members and administration. Sophomore member Jillian Pohoryles said her favorite part of being involved in Patriot Ambassadors is, “Being able to ensure that no one will be uncomfortable and everyone feels like they can get involved and have a great high school experience.”

Right now, the club has just completed their middle school visits. They also have recently changed their requirements and are now expecting each member to participate in five events a semester, which has concerned members. They meet in either room 183 or 162 for a lunch or after school meeting to discuss upcoming events. The officers in charge of participation have recently changed the policy so now in order to be able to continue, members must attend events. Although this may sound difficult to accomplish, the club offers events that the members enjoy participating in.

Patriot Ambassadors was created in 1992 by Sue Thorpe, a retired teacher. Steppling said she decided to become involved with the club because “[Former principal Michael]Doran asked [her] to.”

In order to be inducted into the club, students apply by answering a series of questions and then from there, students complete a group interview. Returning members have a slightly altered application process where they must prove they are still beneficial in representing the school, by answering a different set of questions. If a member in the club wants to run for a position they must speak in front of the members on their behalf and then get voted to the position.

Members and officers of the club only speak positively of their experiences. Middle School Visits coordinator for the school year Allie Herman said that she “instantly fell in love with the club. Being a part of Patriot Ambassadors has been an amazing experience.”

The application process is not as simple as other clubs, but members, officers and sponsors say it is worth the time. The club offers opportunities to earn SSL hours in a welcoming environment and gain skills as a leader. Herman said, “The pride of being a part of the Wootton community and having so many great experiences that you wouldn’t get anywhere else, are just a couple of the things I love about the club.”

With the club consisting of 103 members there will be competition for officer positions this school year. Pohoryles said, “I would love to be more involved in this club because I enjoy helping others in all the ways I can.”