Friday, October 20, 2017

End of 1st Quarter

Do you feel like this school year is going unbelievably fast?  Yesterday marked the end of the first quarter.  This is an important point for you to pause and reflect.  Remember, quarter grades are not included on your transcript - just semester grades.  This means that you have reached the half-way point in earning the grades that will be on your transcript.  Some of the questions you should ask yourself include: Are you where you want to be?  If you are not, what do you need to do different to turn things around?  If you need ideas for how you can improve your grades, I strongly encourage you to meet individually with your teacher.  You should also take advantage of the help available from the academic assistants in the Teaching and Learning Center (which is located in room 209).  You are also welcome to stop by and talk to me and we can try to brainstorm some ideas to help.  If you are happy with your current progress, congratulations!  Make sure you think about what you have done that has been helpful to your success and continue to put forward those same actions.

Also, a reminder to you and your parents - report cards are not printed and sent home - you will be able to access your report cards on Infinite Campus as of the middle of next week.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Holistic Admissions

When I was preparing for the College Information Night presentation I recalled seeing an article about how colleges evaluate applicants.  I went back and found it and wished that the time of the evening would have allowed me to be able to show it, but that just wasn't feasible with everything else we had planned.

Hopefully those of you who attended the presentation were able to get an idea of the factors that can plan into a college application evaluation by the admissions officers who are completing a holistic admissions review.  And for those of you who were not there - the bottom line is that it can be anything.

Holistic admissions review means that the colleges will evaluate students based upon a wide range of factors and not just grades and test scores.  Strength of academic schedule, essays, leadership, community service, activities students are involved with, demonstrated interest, recommendation letters, and interviews are examples of the components colleges may consider when evaluating applicants.

This is a link to the evaluation processing page that one college uses (and a good idea of what many colleges will do) to take your application and convert it over to a one-page form to have a quick snapshot of you.  Be sure to check on the different areas to get a description of what each means.

There were two articles connected to this evaluation page that helped give additional information about how the evaluation of applications is carried out.  Although they were from several years ago, I believe you will still find the content helpful and informative.

How one college evaluates a transcript

Shedding further light on how one college decides

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

College Admissions Interviews

Some colleges require all prospective students to participate in an interview with an admissions counselor or an alumni representative as a component of the application process. If you are applying to a school which requires an interview – don’t panic!

It is important to relax and be yourself. This is your opportunity to shine. Display your personality and allow your interests and passions to be expressed.

In addition to answering their questions, don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have about the school. Be sure to complete some research ahead of time so that you are not asking questions you easily could have found by visiting their website.

If there is anything about yourself that you want to be sure that the admissions representatives understand – unique circumstances, experiences, or special traits that they might not ask about don’t hesitate to offer up this information. This is your one opportunity to actually discuss these areas with a real person. By bringing up these topics, it may spur them to ask additional questions that you will be able to answer.

And, hopefully it goes without saying, but remember that first impressions are important – so be politesmiledress appropriately and arrive on time for your interview!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Oh The Places You'll Go

With the long weekend ahead, perhaps you are taking advantage of Friday's day off to make a visit to a college.  With so many colleges right here in central Ohio, you don't have to go far just to explore campuses and see what they offer.  Remember, it is easier to figure out what you actually like or don't like when you have something to compare it to so even if you want to go somewhere far away for college, there is still value in visiting schools locally so that you become a smarter consumer when you make the trip to see those far away colleges.

Don't forget to take a picture on every college campus that you step foot on - even if it is a school you are not seriously considering for your future! We would love to see the pictures, plus, every interaction you have with a college shapes your views on what you are looking for in the future.

I am excited about the pictures I have received already, but I also know that many of you have recently taken or are soon planning college visits and we'd like to continue to build on our picture display! (Plus I can't even begin to count the number of people who have promised to send me their photo...)  As a reminder, the picture can be of you anywhere at the college - a pretty place, in front of a cool building or an area where you expect to spend a lot of time, or, as seems to be the biggest hit - in front of a sign featuring the name of the college.

Sam Biglin gets the recognition for giving me the first picture for the class of 2018.

Mr. Thomas & Mrs. Goodwin get the recognition for giving me the picture from the college that is the greatest distance from WKHS. (Rice)  Michael Fischer was a close runner-up missing out by just 34 miles.  (2 Fly Airbourne Flight School)

Maggie Crozier gets the recognition for giving me the most pictures to date. (4 colleges)

Thanks again to everyone that has helped with this project by taking pictures! Please continue taking pictures - I love seeing them when you bring them back and hearing more about your visit to the school!

Monday, October 16, 2017

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Is there a question that instills more paralyzing uncertainty for most high school students than "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I doubt it.  

The reality is that most high school students are so caught up in the moments of today that it is hard to imagine what you will do for the rest of your lives.  Additionally, you don't always know all of the different types of careers that are out there that you can consider - for many of you, the careers you will some day have may not even exist today.  So, please, don't worry if you have no clue what you'd like to do some day.

However not knowing yet doesn't mean that it isn't important and helpful to start exploring different career fields and considering different jobs that might be a good fit with your strengths, needs, and interests.

Here are 2 great websites with information about different careers that are great places to begin your exploration about career options available:

Occupational Outlook Handbook: The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. The Handbook is revised every two years.

O*Net (Occupational Information Network): source providing comprehensive information on key attributes and characteristics of workers and occupations. This site also includes a Skills Search section for students to complete as a self-assessment.

Enjoy exploring these different sites and learning about careers and opportunities available in your future!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

There is no better time & This Week

As we head into the final week of the quarter, I am reminded of a phrase that Mr. Cooke (a former WKHS English teacher) used to say often to his students - There is no better time.  He is right.  There is no better time!

It is normal to tell ourselves that we will do an assignment, write an essay, or clean up our room later.  I suspect you are like me in telling yourself things like, "I have a lot of work to do tonight, I will work on it tomorrow" or "It's the weekend, I deserve to relax today, I will work on it tomorrow" or "It's for school, I will wait and do it during the week."  Whatever the phrases that you tell yourself, I encourage you to pause and really see this for what it is - a procrastination strategy.

Believe me, I do understand that this is common.  Unfortunately, I am seeing a great deal of it right now with students who need to be working on their college applications and especially with drafting their essays.  It becomes so easy to think that you will work on the essay tomorrow or next weekend, but there really is no better time.  The moment when you have right now is the best time to begin working on your application.  Something else will always come up - a paper, more homework, something fun that you want to do with your friends, spending time with your family, sleeping, and the list goes on and on.
With it being the final week of the quarter it will be a busy week of papers, tests, and quizzes, but there are also several key events you and your parents will likely want to know about and remember.

Tomorrow, Monday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 18th, are Parent/ Teacher Conferences.

Monday, October 16th at 7pm in the WKHS Auditorium is also the Planning for College Information Night.  This evening is primarily targeted at junior students and parents, but freshmen and sophomore students and parents wanting to get a glimpse at what to expect ahead are definitely invited to attend as well.

Wednesday, October 18th from 5:00 - 7:00pm in the Computer Lab is the College Application Completion Workshop.  All seniors who have not completed ALL of their applications are strongly encouraged to spend a few hours working on your applications.  Bring your materials and work on filling out Common App, drafting and revising your essay, filling out your transcript release card, etc.  If you still have work to do on your applications this is FOR YOU!

The quarter ends on Thursday and you do not have school on Friday so that is always something to look forward to as well.

Clearly, it will be a busy week.  So I hope you will please try to use each day productively.  There is no better time than now.  It will be worth it in the long run!

Saturday, October 14, 2017


This was a fun week of Homecoming festivities and it will be topped off tonight with the dance.  Pictured above are Ava Burson (Homecoming Court Senior Attendant) and Kennedy Dauphin (Homecoming Queen).  Have fun today as you get all dressed up and I hope you enjoy the pictures, dinner and the dance.  Most of all, please stay safe and make good choices! I will be at the dance so if you have any problems, don't hesitate to let me know.