Pre-March Break Senior Practicums

Megan Jacques, Senior Staff Writer

Beginning in the 2018/2019 school year, the Senior Leadership Practicum was a newly implemented project for the Seniors to complete before they graduate. Within this practicum, the Seniors work with their advisors, classmates, and others to be able to run a project that benefits the community. 

This project can be organizing a club, being on the planning committee for Diversity Day or Run For Hope, being a captain in a sport, or another project approved by Ms. Cox. This project had to contribute to the student’s community, whether it be the school community or an external community. 

In addition to these projects, Seniors must complete a minimum of ten hours of community service, and reflect on the projects that they have completed. 

Throughout the 2019/2020 school year, students have been completing projects that are visible around the school and invisible at the school. There are many different kinds of projects that students have completed or are completing for graduation. Here are some of those projects: 


ASL Club

Vice President of the Senior Class Savannah Richard is a club leader for her Senior Leadership Practicum. Richard runs and organizes the ASL Club, which is the American Sign Language Club. 

Richard’s practicum demonstrates her leadership through her ability to organize and lead a club throughout the year. There is quite a bit of effort used to organize meetings and create lessons for said meetings that she plans throughout the week. 

“The hardest thing is 100% organizing times,” she said, “It feels like there is less time for clubs to meet.” It was difficult for her to organize meetings to teach sign language as everyone has different schedules. 

Richard’s greatest achievement so far with the practicum is that she has been able to teach another language, one that is unfamiliar to many, to MacDuffie students who already balance different languages.   

“Having a club that is open to all grades has given people a different perspective on the language, and made it something that is fun to learn,” she said. 

She hopes that, by the end of the year, her club members will be able to sign their names and hold basic conversational skills without the need for a reference. She also hopes to make a video of MacDuffie students signing popular songs or making a welcoming video in sign language. 


Art Installations

Senior Daniela Tischenko, an avid art lover, wished to see more visual art around the school and display the talent of the student body. She has been working to create displays and installations around the school that art can circulate through. 

There is a lot of organization that goes into a project this large, including budgeting and construction. It is a long process, as Tischenko needed to coordinate with the Art Department, the Maintenance Crew, and the Administration to be able to install her displays. 

Although it is an ongoing project, her greatest achievement with the practicum so far has been the display in the second floor hallway near Dean of Boarding Life Dina Lyman’s office. Tischenko worked with the maintenance crew to remove the old shelving that had remained on the walls for years and replaced them with golden painted ornate frames. 

Tischenko’s largest challenge within her practicum was budgeting. Picture frames are not generally an item that would be pricey at a GoodWill or other store, but nonetheless she had problems finding frames that would not break her budget. 

She will continue to work on her art installations around the school following spring break, bringing more color and artwork to our halls. 



This is how the senior leadership practicums worked before we went on break. When students did not come back, they found it was now impossible to complete many of their practicums. 

However, this did not mean their practicum was cancelled. Seniors reported that, despite the fact that they do not have access to the school, they are still required to complete their practicums. 

This means club leaders, team captains, event coordinators, and those running projects occurring within the school must figure out how they will complete their required practicum from their own homes, whether in the US or in another country.