By Tess Malijenovsky
Monday, November 28, marks the beginning of Beaufort Academy’s The W.A.L.L. Approach Interim for middle and upper schools, named in memory and honor of the late Dr. Wall. The Interim is essentially a two-week break from traditional classes in which students use a “Wisdom and Adventure though Lively Learning” approach to school.
The concept and development of the Interim was organic, as described by Karen Nuelle, Director of Interim. When she heard Dr. Wall talk about the idea at a parent meeting about two years ago, she approached him with her event planning experience to put his idea into effect.
For the second year now, students fill their normal school hours with a wide variety of interesting classes, from video editing to cake baking and decorating to the history of the Marine Corps. Students in the upper school are also encouraged to do a weeklong internship of their choice and to go on a three-day college trip that visits six different universities.
According to B.A.’s college advisor, Sheldon Clark, 100 percent of Beaufort Academy graduates attend a four-year college. During the three-day trip to a range of universities, students will step onto college campuses for a taste of their next ventures in academia.
And, as part of Dr. Wall’s vision to expand student horizons with real life experiences, many juniors and seniors will opt for an internship. Nuelle says that the internships are “something that students can talk about at college interviews or draw upon for future business connections.”
She describes the career exposure as economically efficient because students can avoid wasting time and money taking college courses in a field they realize they don’t like. One specific example she and Bethany Byrne, Director of Development and Community Relations, recalled was the male medical intern that decided right away that the labor and delivery unit was not going to be his specialty.
The B.A. students can choose an internship host that’s already pre-approved by the school, like with Beaufort Memorial Hospital; or they can suggest their own, such as with a family business. Just some of the internship hosts for this year’s Interim included WTOC, an auto body shop, Creative Cupcakes, Habitat for Humanity, Judge Marvin Dukes, Lowcountry Physical Therapy, MUCS speech therapy and research lab, the naval air base and many others.
During Interim, teachers create classes that combine their area of expertise and their passions. O history teacher is combining history with rock ‘n roll in a “Rockin’ the Decades” course. The athletic director is planning on teaching golf, and the media specialist will be teaching a polymer clay class. So many students were interested in yoga that they’re splitting the course into two classes. Stay tuned in weeks to come to hear what Beaufort Academy students have to say about The W.A.L.L. Approach Interim.
By Tess Malijenovsky