Besides offering a multitude of honors and Advanced Placement classes, this school also allows students the opportunity to increase their extracurricular involvement. Students have the option of joining more than 100 clubs at this school, including honors societies, cooking clubs, debate and math teams and national organizations. Although these groups meet multiple times during the school year, some of them hosted activities over the summer to keep their members engaged.
This past August, the Model United Nations team got together for a pool party, movie night and board game social. The event was an occasion for the members to have fun and spend time with one another in a non-competitive context in order to become stronger and work better together during the upcoming season. The students who attended listened to music, went swimming, ate pizza and donuts, watched a movie and played board games. The attendees, who normally discuss international topics and issues, had a chance to relax with their current and past team members at the summer meeting. “We’re all very close with each other so it felt as if the family was just reuniting at the end of the summer for a last hurrah before school and model UN season begins,” Director of Operations junior Aashna Singh said.
The Garden Society, which consists of students who share an interest in plants, is another group that met over the summer. This club sowed their plant seeds last February in the school’s rooftop greenhouse, however they knew that they had to meet regularly in order to keep their plants alive, even if it meant meeting during the summer. The students have planted a variety of vegetables and fruits including tomatoes, green onions, cantaloupes, cucumbers and watermelons. “This was important because we got to work closely with administration, so hopefully it will be easier for us to get approval for future projects,” president senior Dylan Horkan said.
One of this year’s newer clubs, History Society, had a potluck for interested members two weeks before school started. The potluck gave them a chance to talk about the club’s future plans. “We might host another team building event like this one later in the year, probably a trip to a historical place,” president junior Davayan Sanyal said.
Junior Ellie Helgeson, president of She’s the First, a club that advocates for gender equality and girls’ education, used her birthday dinner as a way to raise money for the national organization. Helgeson converted her birthday into a cheese themed fundraiser at the Melting Pot and ended up raising over $300 in donations for the club. The amount will go toward supporting girls in developing countries who are the first in their families to graduate high school. “I wanted to celebrate my 17th, but I also really wanted to raise money for the club,” Helgeson said.
All of the school clubs had an opportunity to reach out to new students at the tailgate picnic over the summer at this school. Students arrived with trifolds, flyers, and stickers that advertised their club. New students were able to learn about club accomplishments and sign-up for future meetings. “It was important for us to be present there because we really want to focus on growing our team, and part of that is getting new members,” Debate Team co-president senior Meghana Kotraiah said.