2021 Senior Projects

Emma Rodgers poses in front of her senior project, a new sign for Buck Park / Photographer: Cal Rodgers

Featured Projects:


What is your senior project?

I am creating a new sign for the entrance of Buck Park. I made the sign by carving and painting a slab of wood, after drawing up a design. I also plan on doing a bit of landscaping around the finished sign.

What inspired your project?

I knew that I wanted to do a hands-on creative and artistic project, but I needed a learning curve, so I turned to a medium I was foreign to; woodwork. Moran State park was building a new sign for their entrance, and it dawned on me that I could do something similar elsewhere.

What was your biggest challenge and biggest success completing your senior project?

My greatest challenge completing my project I would say was learning woodworking techniques. I have never really worked with wood before, so I had to do a lot of research before actually pursuing the project. I think that my greatest success has been turning my vision into a physical product. Over the course of my project I have really enjoyed learning how to stylistically carve wood with a number of different tools.

How does your project benefit the community?

My senior project benefits the community by beautifying it! The pandemic has proven to be a very dark and hard time for many members of the community. Throughout all of the pandemic I have seen locals of all ages turn to Buck Park as an outlet and just a place where people could enjoy themselves outside. I hope that my sign can help brighten up the Park through color and spread more joy into the community.


What is your senior project?

My project is presenting three 40 minute classes on minority history. The first was on one aspect of African American history, the second was on one aspect of LGBTQ history and the third was on one aspect of Native American history.

What inspired your project?

Over quarantine I watched documentaries on minority history and read a bunch of books and even before quarantine I had a passion for learning about different perspectives in history. I find history so important because it is a tool that helps us understand what has led our society to how it is today. As well as how we can either prevent past mistakes from happening in the present or fix the problems still affecting society today. I saw a lack of diversity in the standard history class in high school and middle school and I wanted to provide kids with a little insight into the history and perspectives that are left out and show kids the importance of including this diversity into our history.

What was your biggest challenge and biggest success completing your senior project?

I had never created a class before so it was a big challenge in figuring out what specific topics to teach and how to condense it into 40 minute presentations. Also it was hard figuring out a way to make classes interesting and engaging for the students. Another challenge was just presenting to the classes because I get very nervous when talking in front of people so it was a big challenge for me to lead a whole class of middle and high school students. My biggest success was getting all three classes done and having interactions in every class and an overall positive reaction. I also gained more confidence in presenting and learning tricks to keep me calm while presenting.

How does your project benefit the community?

My project benefits the community by providing minority history, new ways to learn and approach history, and helping spread awareness importance of including a diverse perspectives of history to middle and high students.


What is your senior project?

My senior project is a podcast called “(un)prepared & (un)professional” (available on Spotify). I recorded three episodes, each interviewing one to two guests about their experiences, perspectives and how they view success.

What inspired your project?

As a senior leaving high school and the island — as well as a student coming out of quarantine with too much time to reflect — I have wanted to understand how other people have gotten to where they are in life. What to do after high school is the first big decision many teens make. I think it is important to spark discussion around how you will find success (whatever that may mean for you) during that process.

What was your biggest challenge and biggest success completing your senior project?

My biggest challenge was learning how to edit the audio. I am new in the media world so it was a steep learning curve. I also struggled with how I wanted to present the interviews. While I wanted to have a clean, presentable final product, I also did not want to feel confined to the “formal=profession=successful” mindset. My biggest success was completing all three episodes and getting my first 130 streams!

How does your project benefit the community?

There is a lot of pressure put on young adults to be able to share their life plan and ambitious goals. These interviews focus on the winding, ever changing paths of people who are still figuring out lives but also have enjoyed their adventures thus far. I hope that people of all ages listening to this podcast are inspired to reflect on what will bring them fulfillment (short and longterm).

Sofia Fleming’s senior project: (un)prepared & (un)professional) / Contributed Photo

Class of 2021 Projects:

Thian Armenia— I am creating and installing a mixed media sculpture for the garden at the Orcas Center.

Ella Bigbee— A video put together with a collection of footage from sport games/practices and players’ answers on what High School sports have meant to them.

Landon Carter— I am creating an accessible recipe book for Orcas Island Food Bank that will be passed out and posted on the food bank website.

Sofia Fleming— My senior project is a podcast titled “(un)prepared & (un)professional” (available on Spotify). The goal of my project is to challenge our cultural view of what success is, and increase discussion in high school students.

Sofia Garcia— For my senior project, I am wood carving some nature rubbings of an Otter, Douglas Squirrel, Salmon, Raccoon footprints, and Deer footprints. This is going to be done for Moran State Park, they will have them for children to go use, as well as having them on display.

Grace Gustafson— For my senior project I taught three short 40 minutes classes on minority history to middle and high schoolers. One was one African American history, one was on LGBTQ history and one is on Native American history.

Douglas Ha— I created and investment club were we learned about the basics of the market, retirement accounts, and had a guest speaker. I presented to the senior government classes about the importance of creating retirement accounts early.

Christian Heisinger— Part one of my senior project involved me hosting a Magic the Gathering tournament. The funds from this tournament went to refurbishing a clarinet that I will donate to the High school band.

Tomas Holmes— I am finishing a building that the old tiny house class never finished and turning it into a ticket booth/concession stand for the new soccer field.

Izie Janecek— I made a large piece of art depicting Orcas and its surrounding waters that is made up of plastic and other trash that I collected from local beaches. The piece will hang at the Exchange in an effort to bring awareness to the amount of plastic and trash that is present on our island beaches.

Darian Johnson— I am doing an online volleyball clinic that covers the basics of volleyball and other drills that can help you improve, or help you get excited if it’s your first year! Anyone can watch them, whether it is your seventh year playing or your first!

Alanna Lago— I made an aquaponic tank for Mrs. Alperin’s room. It is a sustainable tank that she can use to teach some of her lessons.

Flora Lister— I have finished four different murals in the high school locker-rooms meant to embody the Viking spirit of our high school.

Hazel Meinhardt-Moe— I taught a four day art class to the 4-5 year olds at Children’s House preschool, to promote the importance of visual arts education for kids!

Emma Rodgers— I am creating a new sign for Buck Park by carving and painting a slab of wood.

Bethany Sanders— I am making some clothes for the drama club! It is sewing and it’s fun until you mess up. I made a cape and some pants and a skirt.

Ryan Schneider— I built a pull up bar.

Lindsey Simpson— I am building benches for the buck park playground.

Anwyn Thompson— My Senior Project is Outside Movement for Kids 1st-3rd grade. During covid, it is hard for kids to get together and have fun in a safe, engaging way. This project focuses on providing safe, engaging sessions of freestyle dance. So far, I’ve had an average of eight kids per session.

Madison Todd— I built a wishing well for the family resource center

Molly Troxel— For my senior project I went to Moran State Park and took photos of certain landmarks, then made watercolor paintings using these for reference. I am selling these in the form of greeting cards, and then donating the proceeds back to the park.

Leonai Van Putten— I am creating a cooking show that I will be sharing with the student body.

Portia White— For my senior project I put on a hoop shoot basketball competition for the community to raise money for Orcas Island Park and Recreation to go towards the upgrade of the Buck Park basketball court.

Miette Woolworth— For my senior project I am gathering history of a few buildings on the island and then putting this information into a slide to present to the seventh and eighth grade history.

Ayjah Wright— I am painting a big mural of a life size wave. I believe it is going on the side of the elementary school.

, ,