Diploma Students Celebrate CAS, Extended Essays in Library Ceremony


Madison Polack, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

On February 27, the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma students celebrated the completion of their CAS requirements and Extended Essays in the NDA Library. Food and refreshments were provided at the celebration by the parents of junior diploma students.

The diploma students had poster boards up displaying their CAS work and their extended essays. Also, IB Coordinator Matt Schultz introduced students and presented them with a bound copy of their extended essay. An additional copy will be added to the school library.

The IB diploma students include seniors Rockford Beauchamp, Greta Bosco, Chelsea Chrudimsky, Junqiu Fan, Emily Gibson, Morgan Goodwin, Sylvia Griffitt, Willis Guo, Hailey Gutowski, Kelly Hogan, Ella Hunt, Marisa Jacques, Madeline Kaye, Maria Keenan, Elisabeth Lasecki, Elena Martin Sierra, Diego Mendoza, Jacob Rose, Megan Schumer, Thomas Shade, Ireland Sweeney, Alex Wasilkoff and Annabelle Whatley.

Ms. Michele Mahlock, CAS coordinator and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) teacher, assisted in the presentation.

According to the IB organization, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) is one of the three essential elements that every student must complete as part of the Diploma Programme. It enables students to enhance their personal and interpersonal development by learning through experience. CAS provides many opportunities for collaboration with others. Also, it is an important counterbalance to the academic pressures of the Diploma Programme.

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. The students choose what they want to research and write about, provided the topic fits under one of the IB categories of learning.

Students also choose a supervising teacher who is knowledgeable in their area of interest. The supervisor provides assistance and encourages them along the long writing journey.

Valedictorian Emily Gibson’s English Literature extended essay was “How does Allen Ginsberg’s ‘howl’ model the archetypal hero’s journey and in doing so provoke catharsis?”

She said, “Writing the extended essay was a really good experience for me. I picked something I loved and spent a lot of my time over the summer working on it.”

Megan Schumer said, “It was a very rewarding experience. I learned a lot about something I really enjoyed.”

Her extended essay, under the Psychology category, was entitled “To what extent are treatments’ styles effective at assisting recovery after brain damage resulting in Broca’s aphasia?”

Elisabeth Lasecki said, “It was hard at first because I started the writing process very late. My extended essay required me to go down to Chicago and see a live performance. However, I put a lot of hard work into it, and it was very fulfilling in the end. It is truly gratifying to see the body of work that I accomplished. It is something I am very proud of.”

Lasecki’s Literature and Performance extended essay title was “How do the choreographic interpretations of Kenneth MacMillan and Krzysztof Pastor enhance William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet?”

CAS hours ranged from service projects, mission trips, learning to play the guitar, and performing in the school musical.