The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

'Mesa Mentors' demonstrate character, integrity


September 18, 2019

At Mesa Elementary School, there’s quite a history of accomplishment, including the achievement of being named — not once, but twice — a National Blue Ribbon School.

That’s no easy achievement.

For those unfamiliar with National Blue Ribbon, this program, established in 1982 by the U. S. Department of Education, was designed for the express purpose of recognizing public and/or private schools (K-12), based upon their “overall academic excellence or their progress in closing educational gaps…”

Not surprisingly, staff and students in their behind-the-scenes actions and activities are the reason for such achievements.

One such activity is the “Mesa Mentors” program. Principal Julie Howell recently described the program and the powerful impact it has on the school.

The idea of Mesa Mentors is nurturing leadership skills and character building. Participants are fifth-graders at Mesa, and this year there are just over 40 students who have applied and been named as Mesa Mentors.

The application process is pretty demanding, and one of the requirements is writing an essay describing why the applying student wants to be a Mesa Mentor and why they would be a good choice for the position. As Howell discussed the candidates that had applied this year, she shared a few essays that had been submitted; not only were they well written, but heartfelt and inspiring, restoring one’s faith in our young people.

The Mesa Mentors wear a special vest and follow a special rotating duty roster. Examples are “foyer duty” where students stand at the school’s entryway, greeting and helping Mesa parents, students, and teachers.

“Assembly duty” is where Mesa Mentors assist presenters with anything needed; offering bottled water, assisting with equipment, tables, chairs; helping out with seating Mesa students.

“New student assistance” duty is Mesa Mentors being available to greet new students being enrolled at Mesa, sharing info about the school, giving a brief tour to the student and their family.

“Energy conservation duty” is, at the end of the school day, going around to classrooms to help turn off student computers and other technology.

“Office duty” has Mesa Mentors stopping by the office during their lunch recess to see if the secretaries need assistance handing out flyers, or other minor tasks.

There are other duties, all of which the M&Ms (as they’re fondly known) enthusiastically embrace, but consistent throughout are the key factors of always demonstrating outstanding character and integrity, as examples to the younger students.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the instructional technology coordinator for Clovis Municipal Schools. She can be reached at:

[email protected]


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