Monday, May 22, 2017

Good luck on exams!

How was the first day of exams? I hope you did well and are feeling prepared for the final two days of exams. Remember, if you have studied and done the work that necessary, you have nothing to be worried about. As you know, you earn credits based on your semester grades. Most classes are graded on a scale that gives 40% to your 3rd quarter grade, 40% to your 4th quarter grade, and 20% to your final exam and that cumulative grade is your semester grade which will appear on your transcript. With exams worth so much, it is often able to help you improve grades significantly.  This is a reminder that there is always hope!

Lexi and I both wish you all the best of luck during exams!  You will do great.  Remember, we are around if you need anything over the next few days... and, we definitely hope you will stop to see us and say good-bye before summer vacation!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A letter to my seniors on graduation day

Dear Seniors,

I often hear people say that “high school is the best time of your life.”  And I adamantly disagree.  I hope for all of you that you will leave Kilbourne with wonderful memories of time spent with friends, of learning and growing, and of experiences that helped to shape you into the wonderful young men and women that you are today.  But now as you prepare to leave Kilbourne behind, I want to remind you that the best is ahead of you!  You have so much potential and so many opportunities open in your future.  That path will be different and unique for each of you and I cannot wait to see all that you will accomplish in the years to come.  

I want to remind you that I am proud of you, that I believe in you and I am always here if there is ever anything I can do to help you.  In just a few short hours you will walk across the stage and become graduates of Worthington Kilbourne High School and step boldly into your future.  I hope that it is a moment you will cherish forever.  

Congratulations!  I am so proud of you!
Love, Miss Abbott


I also offer one last piece of advice before you graduate... pick a place where you will meet your family after the ceremony has finished.  (And do not select the bottom of the first set of escalators leaving the Battelle Grand...)  I realize that this is tough since you have probably never been down there, but when you and your family are arriving to line up, make a plan about where you will meet before heading in your separate directions.  It is CHAOTIC after the ceremony ends and everyone is anxious to leave to get food, to get water, to take picture with friends, to see their extended family and this is just one more added stress that can be managed by deciding ahead of time where you are going to go to try to find one another.  Each year too many people are trying to get on their phones to call to find people and the noise and the craziness just seems to make that a much more difficult task than it seems like it would be so trust me on this one and just decide up front where you will meet.  :-)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Baccalaureate

Reaching the end of the school year and all of the graduation related festivities are among some of the most special moments for high school students and their families.  Graduation weekend kicks off each year with the Baccalaureate service. Held annually at a local church, this event is sponsored by the Activity Club and celebrates the accomplishments of the WKHS seniors, honors the impact they have left on the school and community, and wishes the seniors good luck as they move on in life toward the exciting activities and adventures ahead.

Many of my students were a part of last night's inspirational service.  Ronnie Dahn sang beautifully, Anna Chen performed an inspired flute solo, Danielle Barker showcased her incredible dance talents, and Abby Souder put together the photo slide show which was so fun to see.  It is amazing to look at the baby pictures and the pictures of each senior now and think about how far you have come and all you have been through.  Cassidy Crouch and Anna Chen helped introduce the Keynote Speaker and then Cassidy also helped lead everyone in the WKHS Alma Mater.  And some of the talented artwork of our WKHS seniors was also on display at the event.


As if all of that was not enough, Diane Souder, the parent of one of my students, (mom of Abby) was the parent speaker and she gave a wonderful and touching talk!  I loved her encouragement for you to take care of your mind, your body and your soul!  It was an insightful and meaningful message from a passionate, caring and dedicated mom.

It was also exciting for me to see and listen to the Keynote Speaker, John Carey.  John was a senior at WKHS in my first year and he was one of my students.  I remember him fondly and it was so exciting to be able to see him again in person.  I have been able to follow his career from afar, but to be able to give him a hug and congratulate him in person was also special.  John was unique in that he knew exactly what he wanted to do for the rest of his life while he was in high school and to see that he has never given up on his dreams and has worked tirelessly to achieve his goals is so powerful.  I hope that no matter what you hope to pursue in your own future that you will never lose sight of the fact that you can do anything if you refuse to give up and still maintain balance on what is right for you - a message John so clearly articulated.

This whole evening was made possible because of the Activity Club and their student planning committee which included some of my students: Anna Chen, Abby Eymann, and Abby Souder.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Graduation Rehearsal Reminder

Tomorrow morning is graduation rehearsal for seniors. Don't forget, this is a mandatory requirement for all seniors who plan on attending the commencement ceremony.  I'll be honest, it is a long and rather boring time - not at all like the excitement you will have during the actual ceremony on Sunday! The rehearsal is very important though and it will be worth it when everything goes well during the actual commencement ceremony. One of the most important details that seniors need to remember to pass along to their parents after the rehearsal is which side of the stage you will be on at the commencement ceremony. As a general rule, assuming you are one of my students, you will be on "Stage Right" which means that if you are standing on the stage you are on the right side or, put another way, looking at the stage you will be on the left side. This is the side where you be seated as well as the side where you will go up the stairs to receive your diplomas. Trust me, your parents will not be happy if they end up being on the "wrong" side and don't have a good view of your special day. 

Also, please remember that if you have not taken your cap and gown out of the plastic bag, you should definitely do this. You will need to iron it and make sure that it looks nice before the graduation ceremony. 

Rehearsal starts at 10:00am and you should be done around noon followed by pizza to celebrate. Don't forget, if you still have textbooks, you need to get them turned in before graduation rehearsal or else you have to pay for the books to be able to walk in the commencement ceremony.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Senior Project

Today, the seniors who participated in Senior Project spent several hours in the commons showcasing their experiences and accomplishments. 21 of the students participating were "my" students and I tried to get a picture of all of them together, but that just wasn't possible with so many people talking to them to learn about their experiences.  My students who participated in senior project included: Tamanna Afrin, Ndidi Anaraodo, Lauren Anderson, Rory Arthur, Tristan Ballinger, Danielle Barker, Kayla Beals, Sam Beerman, Maddie Case, Hannah Chambers, Danielle Chan, Erin Cheung, Nick Contreras, Charlie Cox, Cassidy Crouch, Ronnie Dahn, Holly Dargenio, Abby Eymann, Skyla Ferguson, Nate Skidmore, and Abby Souder.
Senior project is a great opportunity for Kilbourne students.  Seniors who elect to participate in senior project spend the 4 weeks of their high school career out shadowing and assisting at various career sites.  My students selected a wide range of careers including (among others) doctors, nurses, sports information professions, teachers, marketing and design, firefighters, welding and engineering. This opportunity allows students the chance to learn more about what a career involves.  This up-close, in depth look at what a job really entails enabled the students to decide if this specific career is what they'd like to pursue in the future.  In talking with the students today some felt that this experience solidified their future plans and others felt it was valuable because it helped them realize that this was not the job they wanted to pursue for the rest of their lives - valuable information either way. It sounded as if they all had meaningful and informative experiences during the month as they spent time in a career field of interest. Congratulations and Great Job on your Senior Projects!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

College Credit Plus Testing Reminder

At this point everyone who is participating in College Credit Plus (CC+) classes next year at WKHS (or on a campus) should have applied to the college and submitted your required forms.  If you do not remember doing this, please visit www.wkhscounselors.com to see the reminder of the steps you are supposed to complete for each college and which classes are being offered through which college.

The one aspect which is still remaining for many students is submitting your qualifying test scores to place you into a class.

If you are taking classes through COTC you were notified if you needed to achieve scores to take the math classes and should have taken your placement test today.

If you are taking classes through CSCC you must submit qualifying scores.  You can either submit ACT or SAT scores or you need to take the placement tests.  Here is the summary of what you will need to know/ scores you will need to achieve for CSCC:

- If you were already taking CSCC classes last year then you have met the qualifying scores and do not need to do anything else.

- If you took the ACT and earned an 18 on the English section and a 22 on the Reading section then you have met the benchmark standards required.  Download your student score report and turn it into the Counseling Center before the end of the school year.

- If you took the SAT and earned a 490 on the Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing section then you have met the benchmark standards required.  Download your student score report and turn it into the Counseling Center before the end of the school year.

- If you have not taken the ACT or SAT yet or do not have the qualifying scores, then you will need to take the Placement Tests at Columbus State.

You can take the test at any of the CSCC testing branches. (Delaware, Dublin, Westerville, or Downtown)

You will need to take the reading and writing placement tests.  This usually takes about 2 hours to complete (approximately 1 hour per test).

You will need to achieve the CSCC designated scores in order to reach the level required to take the CC+ classes.  You will need to earn a Reading Test score of 80 and a Writing Test score of 5.

Please note that you will need to have your Cougar ID number in order to test.  I strongly suggest that you visit the CSCC website (search testing on their site and it will take you to the right page) to review the information about what to expect on the placement tests so that you do as well as possible on your first attempt. It is possible to retake the placement test if needed.

The deadline to submit scores and/or complete your placement testing is suggested by May 24th, but students have until July 1st to meet the CSCC requirements and submit scores directly to CSCC.

With so many students taking CC+ classes, I cannot stress enough how critical it is that you take care of these testing requirements so that you are able to take your intended classes next year!  If you have testing questions, please check the college testing pages and if you still aren't sure, feel free to let me know.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Academic Signing Day

Approximately 30 WKHS seniors participated in the Academic Signing Day ceremony this morning. Students are given the opportunity to participate in this ceremony if they have been awarded $4,000 in academic, merit or fine art scholarships. ($4,000 one time or $1,000 renewable for 4 years) Each student came onto the stage and announced the scholarship they had received, and where they would be attending college.  
During the ceremony five of "my" students participated and were celebrated not only for their accomplishments, but also for all that is ahead of them in the future!  A special congratulations to (L to R): Abby Souder, Catie Duzzny, Anna Chen, Nick Contreras, and Erin Cheung.  Congratulations to each of you!