Internship Reflection Week of 2012-04-30 [36] (Mentor Appreciation Night)

The central focus of this week, and a major preoccupation for those of us on the planning committee for the preceding 6 weeks, has been the Mentor Appreciation Night.

Recall that student internships is central to the mission of Big Picture.

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It therefore makes sense that a night dedicated to thanking the many mentors, who give selflessly to our students and contribute so significantly to their development and their curriculum, needs to be done with class and grace.  Megan did an especially great job on the night, with a little help from the Mentor Night committee on which I served, and a lot of help from other staff and students.

It was fitting that students contributed to the event, including one senior whose interest in catering helped plan the menu and pull off the preparation and serving during the event.

My own small part was to compile thank you videos that were to be used in part of the event.  I filmed students and produced this small video as a tribute to them and to the mentors they wanted to thank.

There were many highlights from the night:

  • observations from Loren Demeroutis, Principal of the Middle School
  • state of Big Picture High School from Jeff Petty, Principal of the High School.
  • songs by students
  • duets by students + staff
  • speech by former graduate

That last speech, by a former graduate, and sibling of a current student really moved all those in attendance.  I myself would not have thought that intra-generational reconciliation would have been a theme that would have come up at a mentor night.  The basic thesis of the remarks was that an internship helped a young woman get on track, graduate, and go to college which in turn has inspired her sister to patch up the rough spots in their relationship, and be proud to follow in her elder sister’s footsteps.  It was a beautiful story and one which resonated with other students that have had siblings at the school.

The night ended quite late for a couple of students that decided to help me unload a van chock full of food and catering supplies, in exchange (not quite fair, mind you!) for a ride home.

But, as is sometimes the case for the tired teacher, when many heads laid themselves down on their pillows that night, they could smile and say, I am part of something significant and special.  Wow!

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