Midway High School earns recognition for Peer Group Connection

By: By Chase Jordan - cjordan@civitasmedia.com

NEWTON GROVE — Midway High School is being honored for a group of students who are making the transition from middle school a little easier.

The school recently earned Peer Group Connection (PGC) Certification by the Center for Supportive Schools (CSS). PGC is an evidence-based program that supports new high school students. Once a week, junior an senior peer leaders meet with groups of freshmen in outreach sessions. The purpose is to strengthen relationships with students in the school. Peer leaders are enrolled in courses taught by faculty members during the academic year.

According to a news release from the organization, MHS has demonstrated exemplary performance as a PGC site. The certification process includes certifications for the school, program advisors and student peer educators. PGC has been implemented in more than 175 high schools since 1975.

“This program is a valuable part of our school culture,” Principal Monty Strickland said. “Our mentors do a great job and our incoming freshmen always know that they can feel supported by their peers.”

In addition to becoming a CPG school, MHS will be allowed to nominate students to become peer leaders. The requirements include training, earning no less than a B grade in the PGC class, and demonstrating ethical standards by adhering to the PGC code of ethics.

For 2017, the following students have received the Certified Peer Leader designation: Jacob Register, Katelynn Boyette, Hannah Lucas, Juan Medellin, Johnathan Espino, Tristen Haynes, Darian McKoy, DJ Brittain, Cilian Luna, Madison Sasser, Savannah Lee, Taylor Lewis, Taylor Brown, Temi Olanipekun, Emmanuel Pintor, Sharon Rangel, Melissa Godinez, Blythe Best, Owen Williams, Lindsey Holt, Arledh Gonzales-Leon, and Jamie Massengil.

“These students work hard each day to help our incoming freshman in man ways,” Strickland said. “We are thankful for their dedication and trust with this mentoring program.”

Col. Tommy Macon, assistant superintendent of curriculum and student services for Sampson County Schools, said he could not be more thrilled about the recognition and MHS accomplishment.

“In essence, this means more students are realizing their dreams in getting a diploma in four years,” Macon said.

Macon expressed how the model of the PGC program allows students to become mentors and help others with their educational goals.

“Midway High School and the staff have embraced the PGC program and taken it to greater heights that is reflected in this recognition,” Macon said. “This program only works to its full potential because of leadership and the buy-in from the faculty and staff.

“So I congratulate Midway High School and specifically, the school’s leadership and the PGC stakeholder team members.”

Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said he was proud that MHS became a PGC School.

“It is my hope that our students at MHS continue to inspire one another to become leaders who have a positive influence on their peers,” Bracy said.


By Chase Jordan