By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer

Presentations introduce students to world after high school

Senior year of high school is a rare moment in life. It offers a chance to sit atop the social hierarchy, to cap off years of schooling. For White Pine High School seniors, it’s also a time to reflect on what they’ve learned as well as prepare for life after graduation.

With the end of the winter semester just a week away, the last thing most students want to think about is homework. Yet seniors are taking to the classroom after the final bell rings to show teachers, family and members of the community what they have gained from their high school years and how they can turn that into future success.

It’s a project known as the “senior presentation.” An effort by White Pine High School to stave off senioritis and introduce soon-to-be-grads to grown up homework like budgeting and taxes.
White Pine High School Principal Adam Young says the required presentation and corresponding class are there to “strengthen” the students’ senior year.

“They reflect on the things they have learned but they spend a huge chunk of it talking, thinking and planning out what they want to do after high school so that the senior year hopefully becomes a transition year and not just a waiting game to graduate,” Young said.

Senior Autumn Snow knew going into the project that she wanted to continue her schooling to college to study nursing, or perhaps theater. As part of the project’s requirements, Snow had to look up the costs of what a college education would incur. Something she said made a big impact on her future plans.
“I didn’t decide on a college until I started this project, and figured out the cost of what it would be to do everything on my own,” Snow said.

The Senior Achievement class that helps students prepare their presentations is about more than just school searching though. Everything from cover letters to mock job interviews are covered, areas many seniors ready to dawn their cap and gown have yet to look into.

“I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a cover letter,” Snow said.

Young said that while the presentations might date back to 1998 at the school, the administration required students to do everything electronically for the first time this year. Some students created videos, others built websites for future employers.

According to Young, as long as the students hit the key points of the project, they are cleared to graduate.
“The presentation should be a summary of them as a learner, as a planner, a thinker and an employee,” Young said.

Snow’s project was a power point, accompanied by some CPR mannequins to demonstrate to the panel of five judges her aspirations of becoming a nurse. Among those grading her were some of her favorite teachers as well as potential biased critic, her mother.

Autumn Snow demonstrates the proper way to do CPR. Autumn is one of many seniors giving their presentation that is required to graduate.  (Garrett Estrada photo)

Autumn Snow demonstrates the proper way to do CPR. Autumn is one of many seniors giving their presentation that is required to graduate. (Garrett Estrada photo)

When a slide filled with pictures of her family came on screen, Snow held back tears.
“For me to be one of my mom’s first kids to graduate from high school and to pursue onto college, and to have my little brother and sister who told me that they look up to me, it just made me really emotional.”
Senior presentations will continue through the end of the semester on Jan. 16.