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Beyond the Cave

Senior Seminar Guest Speakers

What happens after high school?
Marley Laplaca
Two of this week’s guest speakers, Lexi and Rikki shared their experiences with the senior class. “The class is very laid back and pretty fun so far… Honestly, the guest speakers have very useful information and give ideas with what to do career wise,” stated Hayden Reiser (12).

Senior year, being the final year of high school, is meant to prepare students before being sent off into the real world. “Senior Seminar” is a required course to graduate at Summerville High School and Mr. Atkins is teaching it this year.
The class assists seniors in learning life skills including college and career preparation, cooking, budgeting and personal finances. This year, Mr. Atkins has brought in numerous guest speakers with different backgrounds to motivate seniors in getting an idea of what they want to do with their lives and how to do it.
He shared his own background and how it has impacted his selection of guest speakers.
“So I am born and raised in this county. I taught and worked here for like close to fifteen years, so I have a lot of just connections either former students or friends of people I just know from the community. I just try to get a wide range of different careers and backgrounds [for each speaker]” Atkins stated.
Each speaker is given a template on what to discuss, which includes their background, where they are from, their career journey, what that career entails, along with challenges and successes they have experienced.
“This week a financial planner from Edward Jones, Jessi Leveroos, came and spoke to SHS seniors about financial planning. A guy I went to high school with works on the ambulance came in, an engineer, nurse, real estate, vet clinic owner, world traveler, and a small business owner as well,” said Mr. Atkins.
Senior Ayden Garcia commented on the Flex discussions with the guest speakers and what impact they bring to Summerville seniors.
“Oh yeah, I’ve gone to lots of the Flexes. I’d recommend going if you’re interested in something they do… They give good advice to get you where you want to be after high school,” said Garcia.
Garcia also stated that the speaker he found most enjoyable, Zach Wise, would be returning to have a follow up discussion on Wednesday.
Mr. Atkins described Wise’s discussion and how it directly resonated with his students.
“He talked about kind of pursuing your passion and pursuing a career that’s going to give you the life you want and not just money,” Atkins explained.
Senior Ruby James also commented on Zach Wise and other guest speakers who considered the topic of life skills along with career journeys.
“Some are pretty interesting… I think that the speaker today was helpful in getting a better understanding of what to do with your money saving-wise.”
Senior Jude Ruby expressed his opinion on the speaker’s ability to connect with the students by bringing real life scenarios into play.
“I like it because you can learn a lot of stuff from people who know things and like it’s a pretty fun class… Mrs. Leveroos was cool. I feel like I’m learning stuff that I’ll like use in real life, you know?”
Mr. Atkins concluded his ultimate goal for his students which he hopes to achieve through inviting guest speakers to speak in class.

“If I get one person who connects with a guest speaker who is like ‘that’s what I want to do’ then it’s worth it.” 

— Mr. Atkins

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Isabella Wickman
Isabella Wickman, Edior-in-Chief
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