The New York State Comptroller's Student Achievement program promotes the ideals of public service among the leaders of tomorrow.  Peer Mediators at South Woods consistently strive to reach those ideals, demonstrating leadership qualities through their activities throughout the school and district.

The Peer Mediation program at South Woods Middle School is comprised of sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who have been recommended by their elementary and middle school teachers and counselors. The focus of this program is on training students to be leaders in our school by improving and enhancing their communication skills, learning to act as upstanders and participating in school programs that promote acceptance and cultural responsiveness. Because of their cohesive work as a group this year, all 8th grade Peer Mediators were nominated by their advisors, Ms. Susan Fisher and Ms. Linda Grunert, to receive the NYS Comptrollers Award.  Eighth graders Victoria Cawley and Emma Van Dorn are two of the recipients who exemplified caring and compassion through their participation in literacy programs in which they read stories to and led related activities for younger students at Village Elementary School. Both students also participated in the Certified Kindness Project at South Woods, creating and hanging posters emphasizing kindness around the school.   These students and their fellow Peer Mediators were always was willing to step up and promote programs that enhanced their own skills while acting as role models to younger students and helping their peers learn to solve problems and navigate relationships. Congratulations to all Peer Mediators on their receipt of this prestigious honor!

According to Ms. Fisher, “Victoria Cawley is a bright and shining example of what a peer mediator can exemplify. She is a kind, caring and compassionate young woman who has so much to offer and is a role model for her peers. She is truly an individual and presents herself in a friendly and confident manner. Her service to her school and to the principles of peer mediation were consistently demonstrated in her tenure as a mediator at South Woods.

Emma Van Dorn's gentle and caring nature was evident when she interacted with the elementary school children as well as when she interacted with her peers.”

Ms. Burget expressed her pride in the Peer Mediators’ accomplishments, remarking, "The South Woods community has truly benefited from the outstanding work of young leaders like Victoria and Emma.  I'm so grateful for their mature, thoughtful, and caring work!"