The senior project: It’s something that every student at West hears about at the start of their freshman year. It is a graduation requirement; every student completes one major project during their senior year.

The senior project at West Henderson is comprised of a research paper along with 15 hours spent with a teacher-approved mentor. Students are also required to create a slideshow on their project to present to members of the community and teachers, along with a final product.

Many seniors have recognized the benefits of the project.             

“I was able to make new connections and learn how to stand on my own,” senior Caylee Ball said. “I had to be responsible for ensuring that my paper, as well as the project, was completed on time to the level of perfection needed.”

While some students look forward to the project, many said they see it as a burden.

“Going into senior year English class I was dreading doing my senior project, I was really unsure about liking the project itself,” senior Carson Saltz said. “Once I did the hours and presented my project, I saw that it wasn’t such a bad thing, and it will help me later on in life as well as right now.”

Ball said the project helped her writing skills develop and prepared her for college.

“I was really able to learn the structure of a research paper,” Ball said. “Before this I had no idea at all what the structure of a research paper looked like and now I know what steps I need to take when writing one.”

West alum Brandi Byers said she has seen the benefits of the project help her in college.

“In my first semester of college, I had to write an essay that was eight pages long for my sociology class,” Byers said. “Once I chose a topic, I went through all my old documents from writing the senior research paper. I made an outline of my paper just like the one Mr. (Matthew) Parent had us make, and it was incredibly helpful for writing my whole paper.”

By: Emily Mertz, Editor

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