Students' interests on display

Open house highlights high school program

— The list seems endless.

Fashion shows, music recordings, film production, tennis and basketball tournaments, auto shows, car manuals, picture books and nature kiosks.

And it goes on.

The 70 or so Steamboat Springs High School seniors taking part in the second year of a Senior Odyssey pilot program have interests as varied as Routt County weather.

Providing the opportunity for them to explore those interests and passions while still in high school is a main objective of Odyssey, which will become mandatory for all graduating seniors next year.

"It just shows you there's a lot more to these kids than what their academic performance shows us," teacher Kim Mayer said.

The Odyssey concept was developed several years ago when the high school was changing its graduation requirements. Students in the program can choose one of two Odyssey paths -- the careers option or the senior experience option.

Both require students to attend a regular class that emphasizes skills such as resume writing and interviewing, and plan and complete a detailed project that is presented to the community, among other requirements.

Students in the careers program must hold a job or internship in a field of their choosing for the entire school year. Senior experience students don't have to work a consistent schedule throughout the year; instead they are given more time to work on their final projects.

Seniors Lia Kozatch and Lyndsey Koehler are putting on a production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Kozatch, who is directing and producing the performance, said the experience has been an eye-opener.

"It's been a lot more responsibility than I've ever had before," she said. "I'm really excited. I hope a lot of people come to it."

Opening night is Thursday, immediately after a community open house at the high school. The open house, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m., is an opportunity for community members and parents to visit with students participating in the Odyssey program and check out their projects.

The open house is followed several days later by Senior Boards, when each student must appear before a group of parents, community members and school faculty to present his or her project and discuss the yearlong Odyssey experience. Students are evaluated by the board on particular standards related to the Odyssey program.

The end result, Odyssey program coordinator Gayle Dudley said, is for students to be better prepared for whatever their futures hold.

-- To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail

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