The Senior Projects are upon us

Ryan Parent, Staff Writer

For the past few years, the Chardon High School English Department has used a unique method to give final grades to students.  Instead of the traditional final exams, senior projects are assigned to every senior taking an English class.  The guidelines are much looser for this presentation and give students the opportunity to achieve personal goals and give back to the community. 

            Although it makes up for a very large chunk of your year grade, students are permitted to work with their peers in accomplishing whatever goal or goals they have had approved by their teacher.  When the end of the year sneaks up and summer begins to show its face, each student or group of students must show a presentation of roughly ten minutes with which they will explain their project, their progress, end result, and all the ups and downs they experienced while working.  Presentations can include anything from a PowerPoint presentation to a video to a live musical performance.  Senior Alex Muir was definitely seeing a half-full cup when he told me how “hyped” he was to “do work on this project.”  Senior projects have been exceptionally popular amongst past students due to the freedom and generally experimental nature of the project.

            Past projects have included an incredibly wide range of achievements including a song written and performed by Ashley Karcic and Johnny Spear, members of last year’s graduating class.  The song was dedicated to the February 27 event and held incredible amounts of emotional weight.  I asked Ashley what it was like to make the memorable track, she told me, “Johnny and I actually weren’t sure what we wanted to do originally, but after what happened we came to an agreement almost instantly because we both believe in the healing power of music.  Not a single second of our progress felt like work at all.  We thoroughly enjoyed doing it.”  Another senior of 2012, Nick Ruckel, learned how to play guitar and preformed a live song for his class.  Other ideas include community oriented activities such as beach clean-ups, helping the less fortunate, and many, many more.  Mrs. Weaver explained to me how the results can go both ways but assuming that the students put some real effort in, big things are almost always accomplished.

            It is encouraged to be original and creative when choosing a goal for your senior project.  Senior Calvin Bruening told me he was “amped up” to make a skateboarding promo video for his.  It is often said that if you love the work you do, you will never work a day in your life.  The same idea applies to this.  If you accomplish something that you are genuinely proud of and feel good about, this may just become less of a school project and more of a personal journey.