For South Whidbey seniors Rohini Mikkelsen and Chandler Hagglund, the school’s first annual showcase in 2015 was a success in all but one area: attendance.
Mikkelsen, the associated student body president, and Hagglund, the class treasurer, are working alongside school administrators and teachers to make this year’s event widely attended.
In an effort to shed light on happenings at South Whidbey School, students, teachers and administrators will be hosting the 2nd annual Showcase Night from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 17. The community is encouraged to attend, said Principal John Patton.
“We invite the whole community,” Patton said. “We want the future parents and students to come and community members who support our schools to see what our school is all about.”
Akin to an open house, attendees will have an all-inclusive pass to the school’s classrooms, where teachers will have various projects and student work on display. There will also be information available about the school’s various clubs, which will include the Key Club, Green Team, Honor Society, Future Farmers of America and the Robotics Club.
“We’re trying to showcase all of our best stuff,” Hagglund said.
Mikkelsen, Hagglund and other members of the Associated Student Body will be stationed around the school handing out maps and information as well as directing attendees to particular locations. Hagglund said it’s an opportunity for the community to have insight into what activities are happening at the school.
“To get the community to have a better understanding of what we do at this school,” Hagglund said. “And see what kind of cool and unique projects we do through the clubs, extracurriculars and in the classroom.”
The night will begin with performances by the school’s jazz ensemble and show choir, followed by a poetry reading by senior Donia Kashkooli. Kashkooli recently won the Poetry Out Loud Northwest Regional Competition and will compete in the State Poetry Out Loud competition on March 5 in Tacoma.
Parents of senior students will also be giving out free sundaes at the showcase, and accepting donations. The proceeds will go toward graduation night.
Mikkelsen said last year’s event consisted mostly of parents and teachers. There was also an abundance of student organizers compared to the number of attendees. Mikkelsen said the goal for this year is to expand the event to elementary and middle school parents as well as retired community members.
“If middle school parents and their kids come, they can get interested in joining clubs when they get here,” Mikkelsen said.
Mikkelsen noted that if the community could see one thing at the showcase, it would be the jazz ensemble.
“If there’s one reason people should come, it’s that,” Mikkelsen said.
English teacher Jaryl Cave is excited for the opportunity students will have to showcase their talents, accomplishments and current endeavors.
“It’s really about allowing our students to shine,” Cave said. “There will be artistic talent represented from our students.”
“The whole thing is really community outreach to show what we have to offer at South Whidbey,” she added.
Cave said that she will be showcasing a new vocabulary program in her classroom, which students have been using for 10 to 15 minutes each day.
“Without exception, we have students saying it’s made a difference,” Cave said. “We really think it’s important. Students seem to be getting a lot out of it.”
The event was created through a collaborative brainstorm with department heads and the Parent Teacher Student Association, Patton said, with the goal being to involve more community members, parents and students in the open house.
“Our school has been nationally and state recognized for high academic achievement and it is due to our great staff, students, parents and community support,” Patton said.