Glenbrook South High School senior messages on display
Before Gov. JB Pritzker issued his stay-at-home order, Glenbrook South High School English teacher Scott Glass and a group of colleagues began talking about a project that could build upon an art gallery installation students contributed to in December.
The Senior Summit, which was a way to reflect on their growth as Glenbrook South Titans, was a yearlong project open to all students in senior English classes.
When it was decided that e-learning would extend to the end of the school year, the teachers decided it was critical to keep the project moving forward.
"We felt students needed a space to acknowledge what they were feeling and experiencing," Glass said, "and to articulate something vital that they learned or came to value during their time at South."
More than 230 seniors -- more than a third of the class -- participated in the project.
"We also decided that including a public dimension would remind them that they were still a part of a vibrant community," he said.
The seniors displayed the messages they crafted outside of their homes, with sidewalk chalk, markers, paint on a sign, or with some other material of their choosing.
Because of COVID-19, seniors lost out on so many rites of passage this year, including spring sports, prom and graduation.
"We wanted the project to help them reclaim some of the excitement that comes with this momentous step forward," Glass said. "To acknowledge what was happening, but to also own their experience."
Anu Kherlen, a senior who participated, wanted the project to reflect their time at GBS. "I wanted to create a message that will motivate people to push through during this difficult time," Kherlen said.
"I really enjoyed how different each student's statements were. Since each statement was specific to their interest, it gave me a little peak on what they thought was important to them."
Clare Dunne Murphy felt it was important because it helped wrap up the abruptly stopped school year.
"I loved seeing everyone's statement; I think it's very reflective of who they are as a person and how much they've grown the past four years at Glenbrook South," she said.
She admitted that you don't see much sidewalk from teenagers. "I hope our community read our messages as well, since they're all extremely meaningful to us."
Maya Goldenberg, a senior who participated in the project, was moved by some of her classmates' messages. "High school only lasts four years. This pandemic will eventually end, too, and we will all move on in time. In the meantime, we have to try our best to enjoy where we are at the moment," she said.
• For Glenview news as it happens, check www.glenviewherald.com.