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April 22, 2015

Reflecting on the Principal Project

by Dr. Eliezer Jones

It is easy to look at a finished product and see how all the hard work was worth it. It is much more difficult to realize the benefits of one’s unrelenting effort in the middle of a process and take pride in the unfinished work. However, this week I decided to do just that. You see, after we got back from Pesach vacation the third phase of the Principal Project was due. As a quick reminder, the Principal Project is an independent passion-based research project in which 9th grade students research professions they are intrigued by, 10th graders research colleges and Universities, 11th graders work to solve a local issue, and 12th graders develop solutions for a global problem. As this was a new program for the students, at the start of the year it was met with a mix of enthusiasm and hesitation. Yet, as I took a step back this week to read their phase three submissions, which was a narrative of their project and research, I have to say I am impressed and proud of our students.

The 9th and 10th graders have chosen professions and Universities that any parent would be proud of. As Principal, what I personally take the most pride in is the amount of effort our boys put into their research. There have been many instances of freshman coming into my office to tell me about what it takes to get a job in their chosen profession, the mean salary and other things they never even thought about before they began their research. Sophomores would stop me in the hall and let me know about graduation rates, minimum GPA’s and why their chosen University had the best “this” program and “that” program. It has been wonderful to see. The 11th and 12th graders, focused on solving problems in the world with a social entrepreneurship lens, have also blown me away.

Here are a few examples of the social entrepreneurship projects our Juniors and Seniors are tackling:

  • A campaign to fight racism
  • A method to make donating used clothings, books, furniture, etc. easier
  • An electronic sensor to automatically stop drunk driving
  • A program to decrease smoking among young people in third world countries due to hunger
  • A campaign to reduce local pollution
  • A method to reduce poverty in areas of Africa
  • A program to get medical supplies to third world countries by enlisting local hospitals

I look forward to sharing the final products with the world, as it is already evident how amazing these projects will be. In the mean time, I am glad I took a step back and reviewed what they are working on, to share these proud reflections with you.

Good to luck to all my students as you perfect your projects in phase four. We’re all excited to see the finished work in phase five!

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