LEAP plans new year with new adviser


Photo Credit: Patricia Whyte

LEAP poster created by co-president, Madie Jones. The poster hangs in the art office by Ms. Dunay’s desk. “LEAP is just having fun with a great group of people, it’s a great way to spend your time,” Jones said.

by Patricia Whyte, Staff Writer

Blank faces from questioning students greet Ms. Jenna Dunay when she talks to her classes about LEAP. Dunay hopes to change that this year.

LEAP is a group aimed at providing students with a fun and safe environment without alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs. The club’s goal is to “host fun events to inspire an alcohol and tobacco free lifestyle.” The club’s name itself is an acronym for Leadership, Enthusiasm, Alternatives, and Positivity.

“I really want to have more students know what LEAP is all about,” Dunay said. “Everything that the club stands for is great for Glen Rock High School, and I think it’s something that the students really need.”

Dunay is both a new art teacher and the LEAP adviser this year.

“I’m so excited to meet and get to know the students,” Dunay said.“Mr. Arlotta emailed me over the summer and asked if I would be interested in it and I thought the message of the club was really nice.”

When Dunay was in high school, she was in a club called Pure Leadership, a group that encouraged  drug-free lifestyles and promoted acceptance, similar to LEAP.

Over the summer, seven students attended a leadership conference to discuss and brainstorm new ideas for LEAP this year. The seven students continue to meet during lunch on day one as a planning committee for the club. The three co-presidents are Bridget Darcy (‘17), Madie Jones (‘18), and Erin Dunn (‘17).

“This year is going to be different than last year because this year we’re focusing more on positivity and just spreading good messages,” Darcy said. This is Darcy’s third year on the planning committee and first year as co-president.

Although it is under new leadership, LEAP intends to bring back some of its events from years past, including Homercoming, Winter Funderland, and Flash Back Friday.

“Flash Back Friday was my favorite event last year. We did all kinds of activities that reminded us of elementary school. We had a parachute, coloring books, bubbles, and we even served juice boxes. It was so much fun,” Jones said.

In order to try and spread their message, the LEAP club is planning on not just hosting events, but also working outside the school. On Sunday September 25, representatives from the club will be at the Glen Rock Street Fair promoting their cause.

“I think we need to branch out and advertise what we stand for and what we bring toward the school,” Dunay said.

LEAP hopes to make its presence known in the school and increase membership.

“We hope to increase involvement and get new members,” said Madie Jones, co-president and member of the LEAP planning committee. “We want to help people help themselves.”

It is very important to Dunay that that LEAP remains a club that “embraces everybody.”

“In order for a group to succeed, everybody needs to be included and everybody needs to be heard, and I think that’s kind of what LEAP is all about,” Dunay said.