Commitment to Character and Community
Posted 09/10/2019 08:28AM

At the heart of Whitfield’s Mission Statement, Honor Code, and Personal Code of Conduct is our commitment to character and community. Students, faculty, and staff accept their personal responsibility to uphold this commitment by embracing our two basic rules—be kind and do the right thing—and by practicing the Habits of Mind & Heart.

Honor Council, a branch of student government that implements, supports, and facilitates dialogue about the Whitfield Honor Code, plays a key role in making sure the primary tenets of the Honor Code are woven into the fabric of the Whitfield experience. The Council’s charge is to build, support, and celebrate a student body and faculty that is committed to character and community.

This year, Whitfield’s Honor Council is launching several initiatives designed to further strengthen the Whitfield community and deepen our students’ understanding of the Honor Code and its practical applications.

The first initiative is a new pilot program called the Advisory Family Program. Advisory Families consist of 12-14 students of mixed grade levels and two adults from the faculty and staff. The groups will meet several times during the year and stay together throughout a student’s time at Whitfield. New students will join Advisory Families as they enroll.

“The purpose of having Advisory Families is to give students the opportunity to engage in dialogue across grade levels and dive deeper into issues of importance in our community,” said Amanda Henry, assistant director of college counseling and Honor Council faculty sponsor. “Our intention is to create a sustainable model for mixed aged groupings so that students can foster meaningful relationships with peers younger and older.”

There are three Advisory Family sessions planned for this year. The main goals of the sessions include: to understand the Whitfield Honor Code and what it means, to build community with one another, and to determine community-wide norms for expectations of personal responsibility at Whitfield. The first session was held Friday, September 6, 2019.

During this first session, students reviewed the Whitfield Honor Code, defined key terms within the Code and kept it in mind as they discussed how to appropriately respond to common on-campus scenarios. In Advisory classes students, faculty, and staff will sign a copy of the Honor Code as their pledge to uphold it values.

In addition to the Advisory Family sessions, Honor Council initiatives planned for this year include: organizing awareness activities around National Bullying Prevention Month (October), No Name Calling Week (January), and Random Acts of Kindness Week (February); creating table tents displayed in Schmitter Gallery reminding students of their personal responsibility to clean up their surroundings; partnering with Student Council on the annual before school seat belt check; and, creating a new “Shout Out” bulletin board in the Dining Room where peers, faculty and staff can share student accolades.

Seniors Grace Farr ’20 and Max Wild ’20 are the co-leaders of Honor Council this year.

“This will be my fifth year serving on Honor Council,” said Farr. “The experience has given me a much broader perspective of our school and a deeper appreciation for the work our teachers do every day.”

Current Honor Council members include: Grace Farr ‘20, Max Wild ‘20, Rebecca Zlepper ‘20, Ellie Westerlin ‘20 , Tyler Harris ‘20, Agha Haider ‘21, Liv Hand ‘21, Caiden Gagliano ‘22, and Isabel Cepeda ’24.

“Our fall recruitment process is underway and there are opportunities for students at all grade levels to serve on Honor Council beginning this academic year,” said Ms. Henry. Honor Council representatives will be chosen from an applicant pool. Interested students should complete an application which includes recommendations by two peers and two faculty or staff members, and endorsement from their parents or guardians. In addition, Honor Council representatives must have a clean disciplinary record. Interested students may contact Amanda Henry,

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