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NRHS seniors take projects above and beyond

Eight students from Newfound Regional High School's Class of 2018 earned Distinction Honors for their senior projects this year, then presented them last week for a chance to earn further recognition through the Judge's Award and People's Choice Award. Students who earned Distinction Honors this year are Hayleigh LeTourneau, Madison Timmons, Victoria Roman, Kylee MacDonald (Judge's Award), Zach Patten, Emma Hhowe (People's Choice Award), Molly Croxon and Bethany Bamford. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
May 16, 2018
BRISTOL – Eight seniors from Newfound Regional High School's Class of 2018 took their senior projects one step further last Thursday evening, when they were selected for Distinction Honors and asked to make a special presentation of their work to a panel of judges. The public was also invited to examine their work and cast their own votes, too.

After careful consideration this year it was Emma Howe who received the People's Choice Award for her project, "The Science Behind Corruption," and Kylee MacDonald's research on Domestic Violence made her this year's winner of the Judge's Award.

Howe said corruption seems to be a neglected topic so she therefore took the time to research how it begins and what can be done to stop it while MacDonald chose domestic violence because it is "a powerful topic that is near and dear" to her heart.

"My mom is a survivor (of domestic violence) and it was hard on both of us," said MacDonald. "This project was my therapy. I found ways to cope with it and get better."

All of the projects were quite worthy of distinction as they each addressed unique subject matter, like Bethany Basford's "World Cuisine and Culture," complete with foods she prepared herself, and Madison Timmons' work on "Buddhist Medicine."

"This is about the ways in which meditation can improve your life," Timmons explained.

Her study on the subject matter showed that meditation can help with self-esteem and awareness, memory, even sports performance.

Like MacDonald, Hayleigh LeTourneau was inspired by a life experience when she chose the topic, "How Trauma Affects Adolescents." She and her cousins had a near-drowning experience a few years ago when they got caught up in a riptide and while they all survived, she has dealt with emotional trauma ever since. She said studying ways people can overcome trauma of all kinds was meaningful.

"This project helped me cope with it," LeTourneau said.

Victoria Roman took a hard look at how bullying affects people of all ages and found that her interest in the topic also affected her own life when her essay on the subject won her acceptance into college next fall. "A Short History in Women's Fashion" by Molly Croxon took a look at the manner in which fashions from the 1800's until today have actually been a reflection of how women are perceived in society. One example she presented was the way fashions changed from the conservative styles to a new, bolder look in 1920 when women won the right to vote.

Finally, Zach Patten presented his work on Video Game Design, from simple coding to the more complex computer codes that go into higher level video games. Patten even designed a Web site on how to create a number of video games.

"You can see that a lot of work went into these projects. They all did an incredible job," said Amy Yaekel, the Extended Learning Opportunities Coordinator for NRHS.

Judges for this year's presentation were retired NRHS Principal Michael O'Malley, retired NRHS teacher and coach Earl Mills, and Bob Broadhurst, president of the Bristol Rotary.

Martin Lord Osman
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