Senior projects help students grow

When an Orcas Island High School student becomes a senior, part of the year is dedicated to bettering the community with a special project.

Their work can result in a creation that will last for years, like building a fence and refurbishing a boat or engaging in educational events that foster understanding.

Senior projects will be presented to the school and community on Tuesday, June 11, between 10:30 a.m and 12:30 p.m. All are invited to attend the presentations.

Kupono Anuenue

Anuenue constructed a new ball box for The Funhouse Commons to replace an older one that broke.

Charlie Bigbee

Bigbee hosted a week of activities such as yoga, making essential oils and growing plants to help improve the mental health of students. She learned “the impact you can have just by informing students.”

Olivia Brunner-Gaydos

Brunner-Gaydos planned and created a happiness campaign of posters about smiles and community.

“Everyone needs to love their smiles a little bit more,” she said.

Ame Exton

Exton organized an event to cut and donate hair to the Locks of Love Foundation.

Kayleigh Horton

Horton wrote recipes for the Islands’ Sounder.

Tim Jenson

Jenson composed, rehearsed and performed an original music piece with the Orcas Island High School Band and Community Band.

Alyssa Johns

Johns refurbished the movie theater lobby. She contributed painting, patching and sewing services.

Amelia Kau

Kau offered real-world workshops to prepare seniors for leaving the nest.

“Many situations aren’t black and white, so to truly understand it takes time, effort and commitment,” she said of her experience.

Ronan Kau

Kau created a deck of Orcas-brand playing cards with his own art and design.

Parker Landsman

Landsman has been offering tech support (iPhones, computers, tablets) for seniors at the senior center as well as individually.

Henry Moe

Moe wrote and illustrated a multilingual children’s book called “Tales from Across the World” that features stories from across the globe.

Taylor Ann Morrison

Morrison wants to be either a paramedic or a registered nurse so she volunteered at the firehouse to gain exposure for her future career.

Levi Moss

Moss built a foldable air hockey table for the youth room at the community church.

Ciaran O’Neill

O’Neill built the white picket fence outside the Episcopal Church. He learned carpentry skills, how to use a table saw and different techniques for measuring.

Phaedra Osborn

Osborn led a discussion on LGBTQ and gave out information within the community.

Luke Pietsch

Pietsch held a fundraiser concert with the school band to raise money and bring students to opera and expose them to a new opportunity. He says, “Organizing public events can be very stressful.”

Benjamin Pollard

Pollard organized a chess club with the middle schoolers, played chess with seniors and hosted a community chess tournament.

Ronan Rankin

Rankin renovated the softball dugout, using all locally milled island fir in order to make it match the new boys’ dugout.

Joe Reigel

Reigel wrote a book about fictional local tales called “Urban Legends.”

Katarina Schiller

Schiller helped with curtains, scene changes and lighting for “Mamma Mia.” She learned “how a play works, and despite the challenges, the meaning of ‘The Show Must Go On.’”

Nathan Smith

Smith made an interactive online map of Orcas Island with points of interest from Orcas history. Fun fact he discovered: there used to be a general store by Madrona Point.

Emma Thoron

She created a display about how to sort waste and educated elementary students about the food web of compost.

Meg Waage

Waage gave a presentation for middle school students to both educate them on material and raise awareness relating to the LGBTQ community. Waage says she had to “figure out how to educate and engage middle school students.”

Dominick Wareham

Wareham repaired three 29er sailboats for Sail Orcas.

Ethan White

White worked on advertising, photo editing and social media for the 2019 Orcas Island Literature Festival.

“I learned how to write in a promotional voice, how to edit photos and how to create social media posts that are interesting to an audience,” he said.

Paris Wilson

Wilson taught four students, fifth to eighth grade, private violin lessons and will host a recital for her students to demonstrate what they’ve learned.

Margot Van Gelder

Van Gelder filmed and edited a short video showcasing the beauty of Orcas Island and the issues it faces. She learned that natural lighting is a critical factor in shooting film.