At SET, we have built a model that recognizes that students learn best when they have passion, whether it be for a particular subject, a cause, or an expression of their art. Passion is the fuel that drives learning and discovery. Our classes are designed to help students discover or promote their passion. Discovery begins with conversation and discussion, and then is inspired by talks from community members and leaders who love what they do. Throughout the school year, students are given time to work on their own passion projects to harness self-expression which supports them to become their best selves and leaders.
To inspire students, we offer a rich array of electives, that harness our own teachers’ passions and expertise, exposing students to an energy and excitement for subject matter that is rarely found in education. For example, our biology teacher, Mr. Walsall, teaches space science for his passion of rocketry; our history teacher, Ms. Jokanovic, teaches Psychology for her passion of understanding human dynamics; our English teacher, Ms. Lennon, teaches a class on Tolkien in a perfect blend of her love of storytelling and the students’ love of the Lord of the Rings; our math teacher, Mr. Odegard, brings his first love of engineering to the students in an Engineering class; and another math teacher, Mr. Putaro, pursues his passion for music in a Music Production class. Those electives in addition to, computer science, robotics, engineering, painting, drawing, 3D graphics, biotech, sysadmin, sci-fi literature, guitar, and leadership classes were all chosen to inspire students to become lifelong learners and to reignite that love of school that unfortunately, for so many, was extinguished sometime after 2nd grade. We have found this model to be quite successful in engaging students to enjoy learning, to explore new ideas, and to be academically successful.
A SET graduate has demonstrated growth and mastery in the following areas:
Recognizing that giving back is the surest path to improving the enormous societal problems that we face, SET encourages students to reach a minimum of 150 community service hours. When students align themselves with a social cause that they feel strongly about, they are making a difference in their communities and creating connections with like-minded people. SET strives to be the leader in Social Entrepreneurship education.
Leadership comes in many forms but every effective leader learns how to guide their peers, collaborate, and work together for the greater good. SET graduates will have demonstrated leadership in multiple arenas, whether it be leading a sports team to victory, starting a club, helping peers through social or academic challenges, or by being beacons of excellence as they pursue their passions.
Tenacity and Grit
Working hard, not giving up, and meeting challenges head-on, the stuff of tenacity and grit, are the traits that the movers and shakers of the world all share. SET graduates recognize that tenacity and grit can be learned and will have demonstrated multiple instances throughout their lives where they have persevered and succeeded despite long odds.
Uncertainty as Opportunity
To embrace uncertainty, SET students have to develop a tolerance for risk and potential failure. True learning and discovery only happens through exploration of the unknown, a risky endeavor that forces students to admit that there are things that they do not know and exposes them to results and answers that may be unexpected. At SET, mistakes and failures are used as a tool to help each student learn from and discover new opportunities. SET graduates will be able to identify multiple times in their high school career where they took a bold leap into the unknown but landed on the other side relatively unscathed and certainly stronger.
Passion, Purpose, and Performance
Passion is what gives life meaning and purpose. Passion with purpose is the driving force behind high levels of performance. SET graduates will be able to reflect upon multiple examples of how their passion has inspired them to perform at high levels, leading them to the next steps in their future endeavors.