The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

The student news site of Wakeland High School

Wakeland Access

ISM’s Final Presentation Night

Kevin Ratliff

The ISM students at Wakeland are preparing for their Final Presentation Night, which will be held at Wakeland High School on Friday, April 19, 2024. The culmination of a year-long journey, this event will showcase the brilliant work and dedication that these students have poured into their final products throughout the year.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a gallery-style walkthrough of all the students’ display boards in the cafeteria. At 7 p.m., the event transitions to the students’ presentations in different classrooms. This is an approximately 30-minute presentation that each student does to exhibit their final product. Students can invite teachers, family, friends, and their mentors to see their presentation.

The Independent Study and Mentorship class is an amazing opportunity for students to explore their career interests. Students get to choose a topic and conduct informational interviews with professionals in that field. The ISM teacher at Wakeland, Mr. Ratliff, helps guide students through this process. For many students, this class is their first step into the professional world outside of high school. This exposure allows them to learn many vital skills, including professional interview capability, attire, and communication skills. 

“I think it’s the best class in all of Frisco to get you ready for the real world. Going to interviews to meet people and being around the workplace prepares you for all the [career skills] that a normal classroom does not,” Ratliff said. 

ISM students have chosen a variety of topics, including zoo medicine, graphic design, sports photography, and a variety of medical and law-related topics. The class gives the students the freedom to explore a topic they would want to pursue in the future by interviewing and shadowing a professional who works in that field, which gives them valuable insight into the reality of pursuing a certain career

“It’s cool to see the students get to study what they’re interested in, and it’s really amazing to see them be interested in what they’re studying,” Ratliff said. “We’ve had some great success stories this year.”

The students spend the first semester creating an original product, and then in the second semester, they work to create a final product, which, for some, is a continuation of their work in the first semester. Students can create anything they want for their product, including a piece of art, an app, a physical product, and much more. This creates the possibility for students to not only explore their creativity but also dive deep into their topic of choice to create an innovative final product. In preparation for Showcase and Final Presentation Night, students create a display board, PowerPoint, program, and personalized invitations. This night is the conclusion to all of the hard work students put in throughout the year. 

“That’s what’s cool about my job; I get to see all the projects, and I get to learn as well,” Ratliff said. “It’s really cool and rewarding for me to get to see the students study what they enjoy and then also getting to follow them after high school and see the career they choose.” 

Apart from creating an Original Work and Final Product, Ratliff helps students create a professional brand by starting a LinkedIn, creating a professional site, and more. Throughout the year, ISM helps students get a foot in the door of the professional world by practicing consistency.

The Wakeland community is invited to attend the event to show their support for these exceptional students by attending Final Presentation Night this Friday. Join us to applaud the accomplishments of our ISM students and celebrate their hard work and unique innovations. 

Here are some students’ websites to check out:

Soha Ahmed- (Neuroscience): 

Allison Schnelle- (Sports Photography): 

Neha Thayamkery (Anesthesiology): 

Mann Bellani (Machine Learning): 

Ava Fuller (Marketing):

Sruthi Senthil (Anesthesiology): 

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About the Contributor
Soha Ahmed
Soha Ahmed, Reporter
Hi, I'm Soha Ahmed! I am a junior this year at Wakeland, and I am super passionate about photography! This year I am so excited to be a part of the yearbook staff and to write interesting stories for Wakeland Access. Outside of school, I love figure skating, reading, and playing guitar in my freetime. 

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