New coordinator directs Senior Project

The senior seminar class has taken on a new vibe this year as language arts teacher Mary Nelson has replaced Jessica Thomas in the role of Senior Project coordinator. Thomas left the school during the summer to become a dean at Satellite High School.

 “I oversee all aspects of the senior project,” said Nelson, who has been teaching senior for almost 30 years. “I organize the field trip to UCF. I also oversee the early admission students to make sure they complete the project. I also train the faculty to grade the projects in December, and then to grade the projects in March. I then also prepare students to present their projects to the community.”

Despite all her experience, Nelson said her task remains difficult.

“It is challenging because I am teaching argumentative writing for the extended paper,” she said. “So I have to have a lot of checks and balances along the way. I also have to help with the teaching of APA style writing, their outlines, how to address a counter argument and how to write a clean, coherent paper.”

 Because Nelson teaches English as well, some of the seniors have had experience with her before.

 “I believe she taught senior sem before she came into the AP Lit position,” senior Hannah Kent said. “So I believe she’s knowledgeable. It is a little bit of a learning curve … just the transition between Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Nelson. Overall, Mrs. Nelson is a great teacher, and she’s been very helpful to me.”

Despite Nelson’s assistance, Kent said the project still produces a bit of anxiety for her.

“Senior project is very stressful, at least for me,” Kent said. “Since there are multiple parts to it, you kind of have to multitask. Like right now we’re sort of focusing on our research paper but at the same time we also have to be completing our projects.”

By Annelise Williams