This year, in conjunction with the new Connect 4 residential program and an increasing emphasis on spreading out leadership positions on campus, Co-Head of Connect 4 Rebecca Melvoin and science and health issues teacher Brian Fry have modified the Green Key program.
Instead of the classic one-to-one ratio of returning students to new students, roughly 25 girls and 25 boys will be selected to be next year’s Green Key leaders. In addition to rising juniors and seniors, the applicant pool is now open to rising sophomores.
A traditional part of the beginning of a new student’s Deerfield experience comes in the form of a letter from Green Keys, who will show their assigned students the ropes for the first few weeks and make the transition less stressful.
The plan is to pair up returning students who will be in charge of groups of four to eight newcomers. Along with this change, one of the main goals of the program is to give the Green Keys more freedom in their positions; designing fun activities for the groups was even part of the application.
Connect 4 comes into play with the organization of the groupings of new students. Groups will be formed strategically, and the goal is to mix genders and get people from different parts of campus to interact. Members of brother and sister halls will be placed in the same groups.
The point of this would be to “decrease awkwardness and increase friendship,” said Ms. Melvoin. The hope of the new agenda is that Green Key bonding will continue not only past the first few weeks of school, but through the fall semester and beyond.
A Green Key is now officially recognized as a leadership position, although it will not prevent students from taking on other important roles such as disciplinary committee member or proctor. Ms. Melvoin remarked that “we have so many good students and we just want to recognize them and increase everyone’s visibility.”
Head of School Margarita Curtis commented, “Students can be powerful role models, and the purpose of Connect 4 is to ensure that we practice the values we preach, that we reflect and act on our core values. Green Key leaders will play a critical role in sustaining an inclusive and respectful community.”