Graduates return to IHS to give feedback

Class of 2018 grads return to give feedback to faculty and advice to upperclassmen
Posted on 01/09/2019

The Junior-Senior Graduate Workshop started 16 years ago and 16 members of our most recent graduating class returned to Irondequoit High School on January 3, 2019 to give feedback to faculty and lend their wisdom to upperclassmen.

The entire Class of 2018 was invited by letter to attend the workshop. The annual goal is to hear from teens who have chosen a variety of paths, from two– and four-year colleges to the workforce and military. Students from 12 different colleges comprised this year's panel.

First, the alums had lunch with IHS Principal Doug Lauf, Interim Superintendent Dr. Jon Hunter and Deputy Supt. Dr. Tim Terranova. Lauf led the hour-long discussion. Other administrators and counselors also were present as grads detailed how a West Irondequoit education prepared them for post-graduate life. They talked about strengths at IHS and offered constructive criticism on areas that  need improvement. 
Graduates addressing the upperclassmen.

Graduates then moved to the auditorium as the current senior class joined the group for a question and answer session. That was followed by a similar session with the junior class. Topics ranged from academic expectations and communication protocol with professors to class scheduling strategies and the shift to digital, a reality that makes proficiency in technology a necessity for all students. The candid discussion always gives IHS upperclassmen a terrific and unique opportunity to learn about challenges that may lie ahead. Just as important, our faculty receives useful feedback on their work. The entire teaching staff, administrators and our Board of Education will receive the full five-page report for review.

“(The students) spoke to us about challenging curriculum, learning from setbacks, developing resiliency and providing opportunities and exploring possible careers,” Hunter said. "This is our mission of continuous growth and success for all students."

Here are 10 Takeaways from this year's event:

• People skills and work ethic — I did really learn that here. My teachers, through support, really helped me become who I am today.

• The opportunity to attend Eastern Monroe Career Center was a great help to get me ready for the real world. Those programs helped me be an EMT.

• Taking the variety of AP classes and electives was the best decision I could have made. AP and dual enrollment opportunities here are incredible and really helped me start college ahead of the game.

• For some of you who are going into non-science or non-math major, try to stick with those subjects because some of you may have to take a general math or science course in college.

• The IHS Career Center was my hub, where I hung out the most. They taught me how to not be afraid to ask questions and the steps and to learn how to get to college. Find out what you need.

• The best thing West Irondequoit taught me was mutual respect and leadership.

• At least 70 percent is digital. There’s no way around it. After school I told my parents I needed a laptop and it saved my life. I do homework and organize my schedule online. If kids aren’t used to digital tools now, they’ll be lost in college.

• Take initiative because only you can get you to where you want to be.

• People going into sciences, bring your notes from high school. My roomie took a more general physics in college and she used some of my high school notes.

• FOMO (fear of missing out) is definitely real. You’re paying to be there and you need good grades, so sometimes you have to force yourself to go into your room and study when your friends are having fun.