Students: Presentations show quality learning

First graders Jon Beard and Izaah Martinez read "The Little Engine That Could," a story that begins with "the end in mind." (Habit 2) (Cathi Nelson photo)

First graders Jon Beard and Izaah Martinez read “The Little Engine That Could,” a story that begins with “the end in mind.” (Habit 2) (Cathi Nelson photo)

| By Joel Harding |

In the library on Leadership Day, students were sharing their work with visitors. Often this work was in the form of notebooks which included a variety of materials including tests and test scores, work that the students felt was particularly good and activities that showed the goals they set and their progress toward those goals. For the elementary students, their reporting was associated with one of the first three goals of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”: either goal one — Be Proactive, goal two — Begin with the End in Mind, or goal three — Put First Things First. An observation by many adults who participated was that students had a clear idea of what they were working toward. Since study of the “7 Habits” is more established in the elementary school, students reported more directly on their progress in classes.

The secondary school students, however, have been working for all of their high school years on a Navigation 101 program. This process is one in which the student prepares himself or herself for the world after high school, namely further education and careers. The secondary students shared their progress, defined in notebooks developed over the course of four years. Additionally, Jody Flaget’s middle school science class showed how they had designed and launched rockets using an air bladder and PVC pipe system. If the design didn’t work the first time, they had another chance for success.

There were numerous other student presentations. One was the Douglas Creek Research project that involves elementary students and farmers in on the Waterville Plateau. High school Spanish and science classes shared their work. There were fifth grade science projects and biodiversity centers. Some of the seniors who had presented their senior projects on April 29, presented them again for the visitors to the school.

Perhaps the most dramatic of these presentations was held at the Federated Church in the late afternoon. Music students and their director, Will Chisholm, and art teacher Damian Smith and his painters, sculptors, photographers and sketchers shared their work. The art was in exhibition form and there were “oohs” and “aahs” aplenty as visitors viewed the work. Previously, the capacity crowd had heard the choir and band present classical, humorous and folk music. The selections varied from Irish to Russian to Jewish songs. Chisholm thanked accompanist Sheila Miranda for her efforts, on behalf of the choir. Then, as he is embarking on a two-year leave of absence, Chisholm was thanked for his inspiring leadership by Jessica Day, on behalf of the entire choir.

All of the student presentations were informative and interesting. Within the scope of the “Leader In Me” program, increased excellence is evident at the Waterville schools.

The Shocker Pep Band entertained at the art and music program and also opened the Crimson Awards ceremony with the song "Championship." (Jacque Clements photo)

The Shocker Pep Band entertained at the art and music program and also opened the Crimson Awards ceremony with the song “Championship.” (Jacque Clements photo)