There is a saying … senior projects are like a box of chocolates … you never know what you are going to get. Well, that is not exactly the saying but it does fit. This was the fourth year I have had the privilege of judging FHS Senior Culminating Projects. Sometimes projects are very involved and sometimes … but they are always interesting.
Even though the state no longer requires graduating seniors to complete a senior project before graduating, Forks High School still asks that they do so.
My fellow judges for my session last Thursday afternoon were Kris Ayers and Elena Velasquez. Kris recently moved to Forks from Hawaii and her husband Ken recently was selected to serve on the Forks City Council. Kris also is active in the community and Bogachiel Garden Club and is co-president this year. Elena is a 25-year-veteran teacher at QVSD and has worked with new teachers to the district with a mentoring program. Elena moved to Forks when she was a child and she said she did not like it when she first got here. She now says she could not imagine living anywhere else.
Our first project presenter was Joe Snell. Joe made quite a first impression in his suit and tie! His project was assisting with the Elks Club Hoe Down that was held last summer and he did a PowerPoint presentation.
Joe worked with Elsie Hampton and learned a bit about applying for grants. Joe pointed out things that he thought could be done better next time and felt the project was successful as it provided safe activities for children.
He felt the project helped him with his communication skills and may be of help to him in the future with his desire to have a career in the gaming industry. Joe also discovered what a time-consuming thing it is to organize an event. Meetings were started months ahead of the event. While one might think keeping children occupied would be the biggest problem with holding this kind of event, Joe’s biggest problem was getting some hay to use at the event. It was not finding the hay but how to get it out of the barn … Anyway, they figured it out and the event was a big success. In addition to Elsie, Joe thanked his mother Jeanna, Donna Joy, Susie Brandelius and his co-project participant Cole Johnson.
Monica’s project benefited The Caring Place. Monica did a story board that was well put together and colorful. She expressed her desire to possibly seek a career in early childhood development or child psychology. Her project was to raise awareness of what The Caring Place does and to provide baby items and blankets that she made and donated to the organization.
Monica said she soon learned how expensive baby items are … and had to scale back the initial project. But in the end she made four blankets and purchased and donated teething toys and bibs. What has she learned? Time management. She started her project in October but with family activities, drama and other things like school work, the management of her time was an issue. Monica also shared with us how she had done some research into the first five years of a child’s life and how important those years are to their future development.
Monica said she enjoyed her project and was proud of the fact she was able to give back to her community.
Our last project for the day was Justin Hause. Justin LOVES salmon! His project was a salmon carving and he did a PowerPoint presentation that showed his activities and internship with the Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition.
The salmon carving was not just a carving — it also showed the life cycle of the salmon. Justin did his research at the library and said the project made him excited and his accomplishment in the project made him feel proud of what he was able to do.
He shared how the salmon is more than a fish but a keystone in our communities … without salmon our economy and our identity would be greatly impacted. Justin also had time management issues and said he should have kept better track of his time. He also overcame some major problems when his portfolio was lost but he didn’t give up and worked hard to recreate it. In the end, Justin said he was proud of his project and it truly was a great learning experience. And he LOVES Salmon!
After each presentation, students are asked questions and then sent out of the room and the judges judge. They are then called back in and comments are shared and suggestions given too. All three passed!
Others also participating in judging projects last week were Alex Huelsdonk, Shelly Kinkead, Tim Ziesmer, Wendy Bennett, Jolene Price, Erin Queen and Susan Romberg.
Congrats to the Class of 2016 and thank you for the opportunity to once again judge senior projects.