by: Katelyn Fox, Hannah Breen, and Sophia Cilento
At the end of April, all seniors depart from campus to embark on their own adventure of their choosing. Seniors devote these five weeks to their Senior Independent Study (SIS), and the purpose of this time away is for seniors to explore a certain area that they may be interested in doing in their future careers or simply pursue and learn more about one's passion.The long standing Wooster tradition started in 1968.
After reaching out to Mrs. Gilson, we learned that she was in charge of all SIS from 2008-2020. She told us that one of the biggest changes over the years was the parenting styles, which led kids to have to shift their original ideas into something different. Throughout Mrs. Gilson's time here at Wooster some of her favorite projects she has seen were: riding bikes from Seattle to San Diego and camping out along the way, living on a kibbutz in Israel, working in schools, and even students building a boat. One major change she saw over time was the change in projects when COVID hit, projects became much more personal and less community-involved.
We also had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Cicala, Mrs. Winters, and Mr. Sacco, to talk about some of the projects they remembered. As an alum, Ms. Cicala told us about her own project. She got an internship at Fairfield University and volunteered in the admissions office. Ms. Cicala also told us about a few of her friends she remembered one of them wrote a fiction book and one made a cookbook with her grandma. Mr. Sacco told us that two from the past four years really stuck out were two students: one programmed an automatic response for airplanes, and the other traveled to Costa Rica to help out in a hospital as a nurse. We all talked about how COVID changes the way SIS projects were approached. We saw a shift from students taking internships in areas they were interested about for a career, to students just picking up passions and turning them into projects. One example we talked about was Drew Greeley, '20, who was in the class that COVID totally disrupted their SIS, decided to create surfboards. We think projects have gotten a lot more creative in recent years.
After hearing about some previous SIS projects we decided to ask some members of the Class of 2022 about theirs. Lulu Carone, '22, told us that she has been interning at the nonprofit Police Athletic League, PAL. Part of her project has been to look where she can find grants to be able to help put together volleyball clinics and other organizations. On the side of that she also became CPR/First Aid/AED certified.
We also asked Deanna Jones and Hailey Looney, '22, who told us, "we are improving and redesigning the school store system. The first part of our project focused on creating a pop-up spirit store so that the community could get the chance to purchase merchandise in person rather than online. The hope was that this booth can be used at future community events like open houses, HVAL games, and spirit weeks. We debuted the booth during CommunityDay/Senior day, where we sold items such as t-shirts, magnets, stickers, keychains, and temporary tattoos. We received lots of praise from parents and faculty members for our booth and we were both super happy with the amount of sales we got. The second part of our SIS involved working closely with our supplier, Custom Ts N' More, to work on improving the online stores. We did this through preparing the spirit stores and fall sports stores for the 2022-23 school year. We specifically focused on using community input to shape the stores. For example, we took information from surveys we sent out in Business class earlier in the year and reached out to a few juniors for suggestions. We hope that the work we did for SIS will allow the school stores to continue being successful after we graduate."
We look forward to senior presentations this Tuesday during school from our current seniors!