May 5, 2017
PCS SENIOR CLASS MEMBERS SUBMIT, PRESENT AND DEFEND THESIS PAPERS; ATTRACT SIGNIFICANT SCHOLARSHIPS AND COLLEGE ACCEPTANCES
Williamsburg, VA - The Providence Classical School class of 2017 submitted their thesis papers during the traditional Passing of the Papers ceremony on May 5. Seniors passed their finished work through the hands of each student at the K-12 school and finally into the hands of their senior Humane Letters teacher, Ms. Rachel Basinger.
"The whole school is part of this process. Our seniors work hard for over a year on their theses, producing well-thought out, researched, and organized papers that embody the culmination of their rhetoric years at PCS. We mark this considerable academic achievement by supporting our seniors in a solemn ceremony that celebrates their efforts. Our graduates have found that the rhetoric thesis process prepares them well for the college level work they'll be encountering soon," states Susan Oweis, PCS Head of School. "We are very proud what our seniors have done thus far - but their work isn't done yet!"
The seniors will orally present and defend their individual thesis papers before an audience of staff, faculty, board members, schoolmates and guests on May 10 & 11. The senior class thesis requirement sets PCS apart from other high schools and signifies a capstone achievement for classical education rhetoric (high school) students. Topics of personal interest are selected by students with the guidance of the Head of School.
The nine PCS seniors developed thesis paper ideas as part of the Humane Letters curriculum that rhetoric students engage in throughout their high school years (history, philosophy, literature, and theology). Concept development began during their junior year, and came to fruition through a year of intense research, interviewing, writing and presentation practice. The students deliver their thesis paper presentations (approximately 20 pages in length) with minimal reference to notes and then defend their papers, answering questions from the audience. The thesis defense is moderated by the Humane Letters teacher.
Topics from this year's senior class included:
"Conservation can be more intelligently defended through an intelligent design position"
"Getting into the music industry is harder than it may seem"
"Aspartame is a better alternative to sugar"
"The death penalty should be used less frequently and we should focus on restorative justice"
"Antarctica should be explored and developed"
"The United States needs to strengthen its cybersecurity measures"
"Barrel racing and helmet safety"
"The USDA food pyramid is a poor way to view nutrition"
"Wealth may be detrimental to the development of children"
The class of 2017 is PCS's 5th graduating class. PCS seniors have once again garnered high scholarship offers -- over $1.6M as of May 5. Their selected colleges include James Madison University, the University of Virginia, Christopher Newport University, Thomas Nelson Community College, University of Texas/Austin, Calvin College, Virginia Tech (2) and Hillsdale College. This class was accepted at over 37 colleges and universities (more pending).
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Upcoming PCS Events:
Senior Chapel and Awards Presentation on May 24, 8:30 am in Veritas Hall on the school's campus
The Senior Baccalaureate, June 1, 6pm at the Wren Chapel, William & Mary Commencement, June 3, 11am, Williamsburg Community Chapel, Student Ministries Sanctuary
PCS concludes its school year on May 26.
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