Training day at HC


John Henson

Members of the Harlan County High School Link Crew worked during an orientation session earlier this week led by HCHS teacher Holly Alred, the Link Crew adviser.

For a group of Harlan County High School seniors, school started a little early on Monday with a training day for the HCHS Link Crew in preparation for Frosh Orientation Day on Aug. 9.

The HCHS Link Crew is a new leadership program led by students. Link leaders are upperclassmen who are good role models and have been successful in high school. Students must possess communication skills, leadership qualities and be responsible to be considered for a link leader position.

“Link Crew is about building relationships and encouraging participation,” said club adviser Holly Alred, a teacher at HCHS. “Link Crew changes the relationship between the freshman and their new school as well as the relationship between the leaders and their school. Link Crew sets the tone for the entire year, not only for the freshman class but has an impact on the whole school because of the leaders’ commitment. Link Crew’s success is dependent upon the leaders’ ability to model what they want their school to be.”

Alred said the group covered team building, small group curriculum, the learning cycle, overcoming resistance, thinking like a leader, and logistics during Monday’s session.

“I’m so excited about our HC Link Crew,” Alred said. “They have put forth rigorous effort to be prepared for “Frosh Orientation Day” and now the time has come to see their work pay off.

Link Crew is a year-long transition program, according to, with four components that contribute to its success:

• High School Orientation — Link Leaders and freshmen start building the mentor relationship and freshmen receive information about how to be successful in high school.

• Academic Follow Ups — Link Leaders support freshman academic success and character development through structured classroom visits.

• Social Follow Ups — Link Leaders and freshmen connect outside the classroom at social events to increase student engagement, and promote positive school climate.

• Leader Initiated Contacts — Link Leaders connect with their freshmen on a more individual basis.