Article by Mary O’Connor ’21:
During the months of July and August, the teachers and faculty of Kellenberg Memorial ran over 85 free virtual courses to students in the Latin School and High School for Firebirds stuck at home this summer.
Courses ranged from academic, in which students would broaden their knowledge on topics taught in school, like Mr. Beyrouty and Mr. Huggard’s “Grammar Boot Camp,” activities based, in which students would explore different interests they would normally join a club for, such as Mrs. Farrell and Mr. Murphy’s Drama course, Apostolic geared to enrich the faith with courses like Mrs. Harnisch’s Girl’s Bible Study, and athletics focused to keep future Firebirds fit for sports seasons, like with Mrs. Strauss’ Girls Volleyball course.
Students were quick to sign up for as many courses as they could. Senior Isabella Rajkovic participated in over five courses.
“I enjoyed them all and was very surprised with how much I got out of learning outside of the curriculum.”
Fellow senior Frank Rizzo also emphasized how valued these courses were to him during the time of strain this summer.
“I thoroughly enjoyed each mini-course as they served as breaks from the stress of COVID-19 and allowed me to expand my knowledge in topics I find interesting. The student body was very thankful and involved. Everyone participated and was engaged, and it was a lot of fun.”
Colin Donnelly ’21, a member of the Science Olympiad Team at Kellenberg, used the many science-based summer courses to further expand his understanding of how the world works, joining in both “The Physics of Everyday Life” with Mr. Ditrano, and a course specifically for Science Olympiad with moderator and teacher Bro. Nigel Pratt, S.M. Colin particularly enjoyed learning from these courses about the physics behind sound and water systems.
Many students found, not only the courses themselves to be a joy this summer, but the interaction between faculty and fellow students that took place through these Google meets and Schoology conferences.
“Sustainability and Growth of Plants” with Ms. Sindone, Ms. Vigario, and Mrs. Mulligan, was an encouraging course.
“The sustainability group we had was so inspiring, “ remarked Isabella Rajkovic. “There were some underclassmen, even in the Latin School, who were already making huge changes in their communities and at home, and there was always an educational conversation. Everyone pitched in their two cents of their sustainability knowledge.”
The students of Kellenberg gained more than just extra knowledge this summer and are grateful for the teacher volunteers and administration who made this possible.