The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

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Great graduates

Last spring District 117 gathered students and community members alike to create a carefully crafted new portrait of a graduate.
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Tom Tom Staff
The qualities that go into becoming the ideal image of a D117 Graduate.

Last spring a mixture of Antioch Community High School along with Lakes Community High School students, parents, teachers and community members participated in three large group discussions in order to redesign the District 117 Portrait of a Graduate. This portrait is what every graduating student of District 117 is supposed to represent when they leave high school. 

The meetings were held after school over a two month period, and everyone gathered in the LCHS cafeteria where dinner was provided. Everyone then participated in discussions from around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Participants were grouped into tables which consisted of a person from every demographic, parents and students alike were able to offer their valuable input into what they think a D117 graduate should look like. 

“We had between 75 and 90 people at each of the four meetings,” D117 Superintendent Dr. Jeff Feucht said.  “So we appreciate the amount of time that community members participated. We had a lot of students, a lot of staff like current parents, but if you look at the list of participants, which is on our website, on the Strategic Plan page, you also see community members that don’t currently have students in schools but care about our schools being great places.”

The qualities of a portrait of a graduate include embracing diversity, having emotional intelligence, being courageous, collaborating with others and communication. These were all deemed important qualities that all students should be the living embodiment of when they graduate from either District 117 school. As the new 2023-2024 school year starts teachers and staff are slowly trying to incorporate more and more qualities from the portrait into their teaching. 

“The curriculum we use at ACHS was created before last spring’s most current iteration of the Strategic Plan,” ACHS principal Mike Berrie said. “However, we still find many of the Portrait of a Graduate competencies in our curriculum. For instance, one of the Portrait of Graduate competencies is that our students “Think Critically.”  A fundamental focus of our social studies classes has been to have students analyze and interact with primary and secondary sources to critically examine viewpoints and opinions.”  

As the curriculum was previously developed many of the new qualities from the portrait of a graduate were already included, this is a positive as many teachers would already include these qualities in their teaching already. 

District 117 students created a video that provides an overview of the District 117 2023 Strategic Plan Coalition process and the new D117 Portrait of a Graduate.

As this group was full of students and adults alike there was sure to be a combination of differing ideas and views. As a student, one worry might have been not being able to be heard over the sea of adults filling the room. One student Lyndesy Perfecto was both a part of the large group and a smaller sub-committee that consisted of around 12 people. This smaller group took part in just a few more meetings than the larger whole group, their main purpose was to go more in-depth about the group discussions held on the previous nights. It was a great way to ensure that students’ voices were heard and this smaller group setting provided the perfect setting to do so. 

“I feel like I heard, [the group] were all very kind and listened to the students the most because they felt that our voices meant the most,” Perfecto said. 

This smaller group was composed solely of volunteers who offered their time to further improve the community. In order to ensure that every department is incorporating these ideas, Principal Berrie said that they have looked into some national conferences and have meetings on the regular with each department to track the progress. 

One of the ways ACHS incorporates the display of the portrait is by hosting their monthly “Make a Difference” award. Students can be nominated for this award by any teacher they have and are then invited to attend a breakfast before school with their family or loved ones. At the very first award breakfast of the year, teachers explained how the students nominated embodies the qualities of a graduate. 

“There was a noticeable difference in the way we talked about the reasons students were being recognized,” Berrie said. “One department has even decided to focus on one of the POG competencies at each of YMAD Breakfasts.  It has been very heartwarming to hear the stories of how students have thought critically, embraced diversity, displayed emotional intelligence, communicated effectively, collaborated with others, or displayed a sense of courage so that they might be recognized through the YMAD program.”

As the new portrait was introduced and students at both ACHS and LCHS get more familiar with it, it is sure to become a new foundation for many more years to come. 

Follow this link to read the full plan!

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About the Contributors
Sofia Tinker, Reporting Manager
Sofia Tinker is a senior; this is her fourth year on staff and second year on the executive board. In her free time, she likes to hang out with her friends, go shopping and get Starbucks. Tinker is very excited to meet all the new staffers and have a great year.
Klaudia Dorado, Lifestyles Print Director
Klaudia Dorado is a senior and this is her second year on staff. She enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family and listening to country music. Dorado hopes to have a successful year and try new things.
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