World Student Conference Reflection-Natalie CyganPosted by Natalie Cygan at 9/20/2016
The Farm to Fork July 2016 IB World Student Conference at Denver University was truly a remarkable experience that helped me understand more about my role in food sustainability, the lives and cultures of others, and the power of the IB program.
The topic of food sourcing, production, and consumption could not be more universal as it concerned something as intimate and necessary as food. Guest speakers throughout the week gave presentations in the auditorium about genetically modified organisms, local produce, water rights, food waste, leadership, and the consumer’s role, yet my favorite part was when we would disperse into small classrooms with our GAT groups, where we held ToK-like discussions guided by our GAT leader. These sessions allowed me to share my own knowledge and research with others, much of which I learned or was inspired to learn more about from Dr. Corsi’s Environmental Science class. As a GAT group, our goal for the week was to create a presentation for action we could take to solve issues in food ethics, essentially making it the framework for a CAS project. My group was most motivated about solving the issue of food waste after watching the film Just Eat It (in which I highly recommend), so after a bit of brainstorming, we decided upon targeting food waste in schools. It was quite evident that food waste was the most poignant topic from the presentations, as the conversation carried over into the dining halls where students became observant to the amount of food that was left on the disposal belt. With students from New Zealand, Ecuador, and Japan in our group, we were able to have an international perspective on the topic, all of whom had something to contribute to the development of our project that we may have not considered before.
Learning also went beyond the classroom at the conference, as we took a day trip to Colorado Springs on retired school buses (2 of which broke down) to see a small farm that grew vegetables, raised animals, and specialized in cheesemaking. The farm trip enriched my appreciation and understanding of small farms, plus I got to taste the most delectable strawberry of my life, picked straight from the vine. All of the presentations and discussions empowered me with new knowledge that I can use to make an impact within my own community and better the world.
Beyond the topic of food ethics, the week was mixed with lively activities such as a trip to Garden of the Gods nature center, a stroll around downtown Denver followed by a Rockies baseball game, a campus tour, ice skating, and an IB GAT talent show (although I argue that you can’t top the Denton IB retreat talent show). All of these activities emphasized what I feel to be one of the most important components to the world conference: getting to know amazing students from all around the world. Never before had I been able to connect with and befriend others so quickly and learn about their diverse backgrounds, interests, and aspirations, all connected by the IB program. It was one of the most beautiful and inspiring experiences to see ambitious, like-minded students from all over the world come together to genuinely make the world a better place, and I am forever grateful to have experienced this.
IB Junior SocialPosted by Beth Hughes at 12/8/2015
IB Social Club Junior Social
The IB Social Club hosted a junior Diploma Program Winter Social on Saturday, December 5th at Cierra Stafford's home. Evening activities included feasting on Pizza Hut pizza, holiday snacks, and dessert as well as a clever gift exchange, including gifts like "IB Survival Kit" opened by Mia. The students also enjoyed a warm fire where they roasted marshmellows for s'mores. Many thanks to the Stafford family for hosting these awesome teenagers for their holiday celebration.
IBlet ReceptionPosted by Beth Hughes at 10/26/2015
On Wednesday, October 21st, Denton High School's IB program hosted its annual IBlet reception during all lunches in the DHS library. Our IBlet event is a time where our Diploma Program (DP) students meet with Middle Years Program (MYP) students to discuss the MYP to DP transition. Several DP students spoke about their experiences in the DP, sharing both the challenges and rewards from being the in the DP.
What is an IBlet? It is an underclassman IB student.
DP Senior Percy Seddoh address the crowd during D lunch.
MYP students at the reception food table.
DP Senior Alex Poston studies in Russia, Summer 2015Posted by Beth Hughes at 10/26/2015
Submitted by Alex Poston
This summer I participated in the NSLI-Y Russia summer program, where I experienced intensive language training and full immersion into Russian culture through a State Department initiative to foster understanding between the US and foreign countries. Through the NSLI-Y scholarship, I was able to test my linguistic abilities, connect with the culture and people of Russia, and become part of the community of my host city, Kirov. The process of adapting to an entirely foreign language and culture significantly developed my ability to handle stressful situations, and imbued in me a deep appreciation for intercultural understanding.
Statue of Lenin on main square of Kirov with senior IB DP student Alex Poston.
DHS IB DP HoCo 2015Posted by Beth Hughes at 10/20/2015
Beth Hughes, Jennifer Phillips and Kimberly Thaggard prepare for the HoCo carnival.
Safe's poster for the IB water sales booth!
IB Juniors Natalie C and Cierra S work the Art Club booth painting faces.
IB DP seniors Blase, Alex and Anjali serve nachos for National Spanish Honor Society.
Kathryne R serves German pretzels for the German club.
Carissa and Mia prepare French crepes.
Denton IB Teachers as LearnersPosted by Beth Hughes at 10/14/2015
Denton High School IB teachers place themselves in a human graph based on their level of understanding of a concept.
Evidence of work on creating Diploma Program rubrics and sharing with the DP team.
On October 12th and 13th, the entire IB Diploma Program team along with several MYP teachers engaged in an official IB Category 3 training entitled Planning, Instruction, and Assessment for All Learners. The training was provided as a part of the E2 (Equity and Excellence) IB grant. The usual cost of IB training is $800 per person, so having this excellent workshop brought to us and provided to so many will benefit our students in multiple ways. The DP assessments given in the 11th and 12th grade classrooms will mirror IB assessments to give students more practice.
International Peace Day at UNTPosted by Beth Hughes at 10/1/2015
Future DP 9th and 10th graders at UNT Peace Day
Twenty-two MYP and future DP IB students attend the University of North Texas' International Peace Day celebration where they dedicated the Peace Pole "May peace prevail on earth" engraved in several different languages, the top ones spoken at UNT. Denton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson was a featured speaker emphasizing the UNT/DISD partnership. UNT also dedicated Marquis Hall where the UNT International Program is housed. The students enjoyed some internationally inspired appetizers and learned about some of the UNT majors from students in the International student program.
Dr. Jamie Wilson, Denton ISD Superintendent celebrates the unveiling of the Peace Pole at UNT.
Emma Besier's Stanford Univ. Summer InternshipPosted by Beth Hughes at 9/11/2015Emma Besier studies Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford UniversityEmma Besier spent nine weeks at Stanford University this summer working under the Dr. James Fann Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery Research. While there, she was a teaching assistant for Stanford's High School and Pre Medical Student Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Internship. Emma also had the opportunity to work in a lab that cultured hiPSCs into cardiomyocytes. In addition, she was a member of a biweekly journal club where other fellows, undergraduates, and medical students read, presented and discussed scientific articles.
Welcome New DP TeachersPosted by Beth Hughes at 9/4/2015DHS IB DP Welcomes Mr. Deaton & Mrs. Cooksey
Mr. Will Deaton is the new IB Research teacher at DHS. He also teaches on-level English II. Mr. Deaton previously taught Composition and Rhetoric at West Virginia University and substituted frequently at DHS during the 2014-2015 school year.
Mrs. Christy Cooksey is the new senior level DP Biology, AP, and Pre-AP/IBDP instructor. She recently taught Biology and Chemistry in Little Elm and is excited to be part the winning science team at Denton High. Christy is currently working on her PhD at UNT and hopes to contribute to the research and design aspects of the DP program with her background in research methodologies.
Girls State 2015Posted by Beth Hughes at 9/3/2015
Girls State 2015by Adinawa Adjagbodjou
The Girls State program, sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, was established in 1937 and has for decades continued its legacy as a leadership program for young women. This program is one that so many of today’s leaders have gone through and it was truly an honor to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience this summer. The entirety of the week contributed countless elections, victories, losses, perseverance, and unimaginable support from the amazing girls that I met. The experience reinforced in us what a true leader is meant to stand for: someone who listens and understands the needs of their people and is willing to compromise for their sake, someone who is and open-minded, dedicated, and compassionate, someone who never forgets those whose voice they are. The week was a simulation of real-life government; upon our arrival we were divided into cities and counties, divided into nationalist or federalist parties, and given representative roles as either senators or congresswomen. Our fictional “State” was established such that each city, and collective county had unique problems that the elected officials had to address in elections and their methods for attempting to solve them. We wrote bills that reflected issues currently faced in our own state, and debated them, trying to convince our fellow senators or congresswomen to vote for them.
The biggest part of the whole convention, I think, were the elections, because these gave you the opportunity to really find out who your fellow peers were, and what we all quickly found out was that we were not impressed by mere accomplishments, as every girl in the program was well-accomplished in her own right. What mattered was how your speech moved us, what the things you said revealed about your character and values, and who you were when you weren’t just another candidate. And once you’ve had to stand in front of 600 accomplished girls and convince them that you are the right leader for them, you can basically do anything.
The most memorable moments for me were: 1) giving my speech for the general election and having every girl in the room stand up and start clapping as I was speaking, and 2) being sworn into office at the State Capital. The things that we learned that week came naturally to us and will truly stay with us forever because were learning them while doing them. The experience encouraged me to take a more active role in my government once I returned home, because after all, our government is of the people, by the people, and for the people.Adinawa being sworn in at the Texas Capitol.Adinawa with other elected officials at Girls State.Adinawa with Anna Passy(DHS IB '13 and Girls State Counselor)