Patriots Present First-Ever Capstone Projects

Theoden Melgar, Sports Editor

Eighth graders and seniors rolled out Oxford’s first-ever capstone projects on April 7 and 18. A compilation of their most notable work from the year and final reflections, the memoir portfolio was introduced to highlight students’ progress. Aside from in-class assignments, students could share their time in various clubs and sports, having a range of memories to draw on and best capture their experience at Oxford.

Students showcased their work from class projects to both staff and students on an eKadence webpage. In its early stages, the project received complaints and general unwillingness from students due to the extra burden it would put on them; however, after the first presentations, there is more concrete feedback from students for improvements.

Students presented for about 10 minute intervals to a panel of staff and other peers. Eighth graders spoke to select guests one-on-one, such as upperclassmen and parents, and took a slight pause to consider their growth and progress. 

On the other hand, seniors presented to larger groups comprising faculty, seventh graders, and families of incoming students, providing a preview of the years to come. While sharing their thoughts, they had the chance to grab the spotlight and highlight the significance in each of their journeys. 

“At graduation, there are just a few students who get to speak about their story. For everyone else, your name is read, and then you zoom across the stage and don’t even take it in,” Mrs. Vosskuhler said. “We wanted to give seniors the time to have a moment with an audience, so they can honor their story and honor their experience. 

There is still room for further changes to the memoir project, considering its recent introduction. Mrs. Casanova and Mrs. Vosskuhler are working to better integrate the project, and one thing they found during the presentations was the value in conversations between senior presentations and their seventh grade audience. 

Although seventh graders were understandably hesitant to ask questions, many commented in the feedback forms that hearing advice from a student was interesting. Some seniors have even written back responses to the questions seventh graders’ wrote down, and seventh graders had the chance to get insight from a student about managing their time and considering their personal interests.

“I got to learn from the twelfth grade experiences. It helped me grow and learn for my own journey and to probably not make the same mistakes, so I can look and plan ahead from now until the end of high school,” seventh grader Sourish Mehta said. 

Aside from honing in on the conversation within presentations, there will also have to be necessary changes because of the removal of clusters. Especially for seniors, dual enrollment and the assortment of schedules also prevent a shared time for all students to focus on the project. 

Many audience members also shared other suggested tweaks. Some thought there wasn’t enough time to ask questions. Others commented that a slideshow would have been more presentable. However, much of the feedback has been positive through the initial anxiety of having to present to an audience.  

“In the beginning, I didn’t really know what to expect, especially since I knew some parents would be listening in,” senior Sufyan Asari said. “It was way easier than I expected, and it’s not hard to go from the heart and say what you experienced throughout the years.”