FHSD celebrates student-led innovation experiences
At the March Board of Education meeting, Forest Hills School District celebrated two major innovation initiatives that offer leadership opportunities and learning experiences for students across the district.
Nagel Middle School’s Nagel NEW Conference and Turpin High School’s Spartan Summit were highlighted for the Board. Assistant Superintendent Kim Pence pointed out there are cutting edge, collaborative initiatives like this throughout the district. Nagel and Turpin hosted their events during the month of March.
“As part of our strategic vision, we have prioritized the development of what we call an EPIC culture,” Pence said. “In an EPIC culture, we empower others through personalized learning, pathways and strategies to encourage creativity and innovation through collaboration.”
EPIC is one way FHSD works to provide high-level educational opportunities, focusing on approaches meant to Empower, Personalize, Innovate and Collaborate.
Nagel NEW and Spartan Summit were modeled after professional conferences, meaning students were able to sign up for breakout sessions on a wide variety of innovative topics. The majority of those sessions were created and led by fellow classmates.
“I learned that I’m pretty good at teaching and it showed me leadership in a bunch of different ways,” Nagel eighth grader Maxwell Casteel said during the meeting. “My favorite part was seeing people learn and have fun doing it.”
Maxwell led a session teaching people how to ride a wheelie on a bicycle. Nagel NEW had nearly 200 middle school students leading various sessions.
Dozens of Turpin students led sessions at Spartan Summit. The conference also included outside representatives talking about options after graduation like going to college, joining the military or finding a career.
“I love the opportunity to inspire the same passion I have for crocheting in my fellow students,” said Lauren Ferguson, a senior at Turpin.