Hands-on work with Paralympic athletes, animal shelters, hospitals replaces traditional senior seminars

(Photo by Will Wright)
Teacher Daniel Neukom shows senior Leslie Rieger how to measure the oil levels in his Automobile Maintenance senior seminar in 2013.

In place of traditional sit-down lectures, head of high school Brooke Wells has opted for more hands-on activities for the senior seminars this year.

Instead of eight on-campus sessions throughout two weeks, with limited choice on certain days, Wells decided to introduce one week of off-campus activities and one week of on-campus sessions.

“We switched over because a lot of last year’s sessions just (had) the seniors sitting while people talked to them,” Wells said. “I wanted the last things seniors did at Country Day to be more active than just (listening).”

More choice was another reason Wells said he wanted to change the program.

The seniors will have a choice of participating in 11 off-campus programs, including working with Paralympic athletes, horse and animal shelters, food banks, farms, hospitals and women’s shelters.

Most will work from 9 a.m. to noon; however, the final schedules have not yet been decided by the school and the various companies.

On May 29, the day of the awards ceremony, the students will present the work they’ve done to parents who come for the ceremony at a fair similar to the one held at Back to School Night, according to Wells.

During the second week of senior seminars, students will attend sessions like those in previous years.

There will be two lecture-like sessions, one on finance and one on self-defense. There will also be a barbecue “chill and grill.”

By Mehdi Lacombe

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