Mrs. Scavone: Why LINK is so important for next year’s freshman

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Mary Scavone

A LINK meeting takes place both in person on the field and through virtual Zoom sessions.

Sierra Deaver, Staff Writer

The transition from middle school to high school can be rough and even daunting for some. However, the LINK program at Amador, which is led by Ms. Scavone, helps out many new freshmen.

LINK is a program where seniors and juniors (known as LINK Leaders) bond with incoming freshmen by giving them advice and doing fun activities.  LINK Leaders first meet them during freshman orientation, where they give the freshmen a tour of the school, answering any questions they have.

Originally, the LINK program at Amador was part of Leadership, but they are now two separate programs.

“I ended up getting trained in LINK over at Aptos, CA, in Seascape resort and learned that LINK crew should be separate from Leadership, and I feel like our program is on the right track. LINK crew should be made up of representatives from all groups on our campus and I feel like we are moving there, so it’s been awesome. ” said Ms. Scavone, an AVHS PE teacher.

Ms. Scavone has been the LINK advisor for around 5 years at Amador. 

“My role as the LINK advisor is to select, well [along with] our current LINK coordinators, coordinators for the following year. We developed monthly lessons that would help encourage our freshmen, lessons like discussion questions, icebreaker games, during our students’ P.E. class time. I meet, in addition with our coordinators, to plan for those lessons once a month,” said Scavone.

She is also one of the Freshmen P.E. teachers at Amador, and has been involved with other out of class activities, which motivated her to become the LINK advisor.

“What motivated me to be a LINK advisor at Amador was being involved outside of the classroom. I coached soccer at Amador for 8 years and I just saw building relationships with students outside of the classroom was so different and more personal. I teach freshman P.E., and one of the benefits to working with LINK is that I get to build relationships with the upperclassmen, like I did when I was coaching varsity soccer. ” said Scavone.

Building relationships is one of the most important parts of LINK. With a global pandemic, it’s hard to stay connected with other people, especially with a program that focuses on making connections. LINK aims to solve that need.

“Amador is such a bigger campus from what our middle schoolers are used to and having a mentor on campus and building relationships with the upperclassmen is really helpful in making the transition. I believe that life is about building relationships and especially now with covid and our students being isolated, LINK is more important and more valuable now more than it has been in the past” said Scavone.

However, Ms. Scavone won’t be the LINK advisor next year, as fellow P.E. teacher Ms. Silva will be taking over her job as the advisor for LINK.

“I decided to become a LINK advisor because I watched Ms. Scavone lead LINK for many, many years and I’ve seen firsthand what a valuable program it is, and when she decided to step down, I knew right away that it was something that I wanted to be a part of. The transition to high school is so important for these freshmen and it’s a major event in their lives and I want to be able to help them to feel welcome and feel connected to Amador.” said Ms. Silva.

Although she is mainly excited to be the LINK advisor next year, she does have some worries too.

“I’m a little nervous about how the COVID situation might affect the program, as it did this past year, but I feel pretty confident that we would find some creative ways to get around any obstacles that we might face.” said Silva.

Any current sophomore or junior can become a LINK leader if they want, as the program is very welcoming and diverse.

“My advice for students who are interested in being a LINK crew leader for next year is to reach out to Ms. Silva or myself. We have LINK applications, and students will need to fill out a LINK application. We’ll go through a LINK interview with the new selected coordinators for the year 2021-22,” said Scavone.

Ultimately, the LINK program remains a crucial part of Amador’s identity

“LINK is a program where all students are welcome and our LINK crew is made up of all different groups on our campus. Whether you’re in band, whether you skate, whether you’re wrestling, choir, drama, we’ve really tried to make an effort in selecting a LINK crew that represents the whole community of Amador and I feel like that’s such a vital part of our community.” said Scavone.