Ready, Set, Go!

May 22, 2010 | 1 comment

An Audience of Peers

     Yesterday I spent the morning listening to seven Ilwaco High School students make their senior project presentations – their final hurdle before graduation.  This is the third year I’ve been privileged to be a judge and I do believe it was the best yet. 
     There are a number of components to the presentations, not the least of which is the ability to speak clearly and succinctly (there’s a time limit)  to the group of community members who are their judges, as well as to an audience that includes their peers, their parents and other relatives and, perhaps, parents of their friends.  The group is friendly and supportive.  None-the-less, as the young presenters were setting up their power point programs and joking around with their classmates, they all admitted to being nervous and were looking forward to “getting it over with.”  They needn’t have worried.  They did great!
     The presentations each included a description of a career possibility they had examined; a detailed account of the steps taken to complete their senior project and an analysis of what they had learned in the process; a hopeful look at their plans following graduation; and extensive thank yous to those who had helped them along the way.  Without exception, the seven presenters I witnessed spoke with enthusiasm, a sense of humor, and a good measure of humility.  After listening to them, I felt better about our chances for the future – at least the immediate future. 
      I drove home feeling a bit warm and glow-y.  Besides re-connecting with these young men and women whom I had known as third graders during my final year of teaching, I had an opportunity to visit with their parents, and to learn about the dance instructors, contractors, mechanics, and surfer-dudes who had been their mentors during their projects.  I was struck once more by the inter-connectedness of our community and the realization that we are so lucky to live here.  We didn’t need Hillary to tell us that “it takes a village!”

1 Comment

  1. Debbie Greenway Stotts

    It was great to see you there, Sydney! Thank you for being a judge and for sharing this picture. This was just before Kelsey’s, then Kim presented next. It was such a positive environment – students encouraging each other before and then congratulating each other after! Parents complimenting each other on how well both they and their kids did. Love what you said about the community and interconnectedness of the students, teachers, parents, mentors and judges. We need and depend on each other so everyone succeeds!


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