South Orangetown Central School District

Over the course of the fall semester, Senior Seminar students at Tappan Zee High School have been compiling pieces from the body of work they’ve written throughout their South Orangetown school careers for their Senior Portfolios.

Students were tasked with creating a themed digital or scrapbook-style portfolio of their work which reflects the pieces selected. “My theme was ‘Passion is best expressed through literature’, because I express myself best through writing,’” said Michael C.

Sophie A. opted to go with a physical portfolio as a memento. “I liked making the scrapbook because it was creative. My theme was “roads”: Freshman year was a backroad and senior is a highway,” she explained. What’s ahead? “A parkway.”

“It was fun to make,” Darian A. noted, referring to his digital, baseball-themed portfolio. “I learned more about myself. I know that I’m smart and can accomplish things if I work hard.”

“It was stressful,” Alexa C. acknowledged. “I wanted to create something as a keepsake, with an Earth and Sky theme. We were allowed to swap out three class assignments with pieces of our choice, so I put a lot of poetry in there.”

Vik B. gave a lot of thought to choosing a nature theme for his digital portfolio. “We may stumble and fall, but it’s OK if you put it in perspective of how small we are. I liked the personal aspect of the project and the creative license it gave us.”

Many seniors appreciated the opportunity to look back and think deeply about their work and experiences. “Reflecting back and recounting memories was my favorite part,” said Angus G., who was particularly struck by a piece he’d written about the three things he’d take with him if he had to flee. “I would take a picture of my dog, a watch from my dad and a bracelet from my mom. I think that’s unusual–it’s different from what people usually say.”

“The portfolio is meaningful because it’s something that reflects what they’ve done here,” says TZHS English teacher Sarah McMane. “Looking through their ‘pass along’ folders from elementary school, you really see the growth. And that’s impactful.” More photos on Facebook.

Two female students holding Senior Portfolio scrapbooks