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EDUCATION: Senior project has value for student, community

Letter by Tom C. Omli, Edgewood on April 3, 2014 at 10:44 am | No Comments »
April 3, 2014 12:23 pm

Re: “Senior hopes victory in Legislature means end of senior projects” (TNT, 3-29).

I find it sad but not surprising that Tiffany Stewart would choose to dilute the value of her high school diploma to avoid the extra work. I also do not find it surprising that her classmates would support her because they would be able to avoid the extra work. But I am amused by members of the state Legislature pointing to only one example of a poor senior project, “that cupcake project,” as an example to scrap the whole thing.

In the early 1990s, under the courageous leadership of principal Paul Stilnovich, Rogers High School launched a senior project that quickly gained national attention for the accomplishments of its students. They were encouraged to explore topics of their interest not available under the regular classroom curriculum.

One student built a robotic hand, another won a full scholarship to the University of Southern California and a lifetime job by working with Disney Imagineering. Another won an award from the Northwest Philanthropic Society for his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

These are just a few of the significant and life-changing events that the advent of senior projects allowed. But just like all significant accomplishments, it takes a bit of extra work.

Thanks to Brian Fox, representing the Puyallup School District, and Ben Rarick from the State Board of Education for pointing out the value of the senior project to students and their communities.

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