Students Resolving Conflict in a Constructive Way at Schenectady High

By Sarah Rudgers-Tysz, Executive Director of Mediation Matters 628x471

Schenectady and Albany, NY – For over 12 years the Schenectady High School Peer Mediation Program has been training students as mediators and empowering them to resolve conflict between fellow students without violence or bullying. Mediation Matters, a local non- profit dispute resolution center, coordinates the program with a full-time staff person at the high school.

In recognition of the program’s success, Mediation Matters is honoring the dedication and commitment demonstrated by the program’s key contributors and the school’s administration at its Second Annual Fundraising Dinner. The individuals being honored at the event are the program’s student leadership, program coordinator Kashiff Thompson, Schenectady High School Principal Diane Wilkinson, and Schenectady School District Superintendent Laurence T. Spring. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Albany Yacht Club, 75 Broadway, Rensselaer, NY.

Through the program the peer mediators learn how to approach conflict constructively, practice active listening skills, and model this behavior for their peers. Along with the valuable life skills the students learn and the conflicts resolved through mediation, the program also reduces the need for disciplinary action, with 174 cases mediated last school year.

The Peer Mediation Program is one of the many ways Mediation Matters is making a difference in the community. The organization provides a place for families, businesses, educators, students, and other community members to resolve their conflicts through mediation. Mediation is a voluntary, neutral, and confidential process where people involved with a conflict have the opportunity to be heard and work to develop their own solutions to their own problems, outside of court. Between April 2013 and April 2014, 795 cases were mediated at the center. The organization also facilitates conflict resolution trainings and workshops, group discussions, and restorative justice circles in a variety of settings.

With excellent staff and invaluable volunteers, Mediation Matters’ services are available at little to no cost in each of the counties it serves: Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Warren, and Washington Counties. In recognition of the value of a peaceful community, Mediation Matters has been providing the skills and processes that help people handle conflict in a constructive way since 1979.

To learn more about Mediation Matters, visit their website at, message them through their contact form on the website, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, or give them a call at 518-446-0356.


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