Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Horizon Scholars banquet

Annabelle's school has a lovely tradition where each year they designate students who have a 4.0 GPA as Horizon Scholars. Each Horizon Scholar gets to select the teacher who has been most influential on his or her high school experience, and these teachers are invited to attend a wonderful banquet along with the students and their families. Before the banquet, the teachers and the students write essays about each other, and they participate in a video session where the teachers give advice for the future. Annabelle had a really tough time choosing, because she has had quite a number of fantastic teachers. In the end she went with Dr. Prost, her band director.

This was Annabelle's essay about Dr. Prost:
When I came to Leavenworth my sophomore year, I briefly toyed with the idea of re-joining band, but I considered myself too greatly out of practice and decided against it. By some happy accident at the end of my first semester, Dr. Prost overheard me playing in the choir room and suggested I give high school band a shot; I have been a member ever since.
Dr. Prost has always been supportive of my musical endeavors, including re-teaching myself bassoon, picking up the bari sax for marching season, and joining the jazz band. Furthermore, he takes a genuine interest in how his students are doing as individuals, not just musicians. Occasionally, he talks to me in the hallways about how the Scholars Bowl team is doing. When I had a car accident before school one day, he made sure to ask me whether or not I was actually okay.
Though I am currently dreading the day I will have to give back my bari sax, I know that my experiences from band will follow me for a long time. Thanks to Dr. Prost's confidence in me, I have learned to find confidence in myself.
And his essay about her:
I had the great fortune of meeting Annabelle Taylor during her sophomore year. She was enrolled in choir at the time and was practicing her bassoon for an end of the semester choir project. Convincing her to enroll in band for the following semester may end up being the greatest move of my career.
Annabelle has been one of the best student leaders that I have had in our group. I'm not sure if she has read books about leadership styles, I think leading just happens to suit her. Here is Annabelle's method for being a leader of your peers: (1) always set an amazing example of hard work, self-control, maturity, musicianship, and responsibility; (2) be sincere in encouraging others; (3) make sure that any corrections are positive and constructive.
I'll mention one more item, because I doubt that it will make it into Annabelle's official bio. During the 2012 marching band season, I gave her the unofficial award of "Toughest Band Member." Annabelle, with an injured wrist and lugging a very heavy baritone saxophone, was one of our finest marchers. Other students quickly learned that if they wanted to complain about carrying a small instrument and insignificant physical discomforts that I could merely point out Annabelle.

We had a great time at the banquet. It was fun to watch the video of all the scholars and their teachers talking about each other. Afterwards I managed to snap a couple pictures, one of Annabelle with Dr. Prost:

And one of her with her outstanding guidance counselor, Ms. Klima:

Annabelle also received a really nice framed photo of her with Dr. Prost and her beloved bari sax, which I know she will treasure for years to come.

Edited on May 26 to add: I found the picture of Annabelle and Dr. Prost on Facebook! It was done by First City Photo and Frames, and it is simply gorgeous:

1 comment:

Papa Boyd said...

Dr. Prost is a great choice and a really cool guy! I enjoyed meeting him during my visit to Kansas last December, and listening to the jazz ensemble rehearse took me back to my own high school band days.

Annabelle, when a teacher says that convincing you to enroll in his class could end up being his own greatest career move, you know you've made quite an impression.

Congratulations on a wonderful high school experience!