The York Prep Scholars Program at York Prep School

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Five Senior Scholars graduated in June 2009 having completed the rigorous and challenging Scholars enrichment sequence. By that time, most of them had taken, over the course of three years, a total of 20 special 6-session seminars in an impressive variety of subject matter. In addition, they all fulfilled the requirement of designing and completing a Scholars Thesis in their senior year. These seniors received diplomas “with honors.”

Five Senior Scholars graduated in June 2009 having completed the rigorous and challenging Scholars enrichment sequence. By that time, most of them had taken, over the course of three years, a total of 20 special 6-session seminars in an impressive variety of subject matter. In addition, they all fulfilled the requirement of designing and completing a Scholars Thesis in their senior year. These seniors received diplomas “with honors.”

Here is a sampling of past years’ thesis topics:

  •     The Wonderful World of Phi: The Golden Mean in Classic Rock Music
  •     Going Home: A Cinematic Exploration of My Family History
  •     Sweat for Nets: Service Learning and Its Impact on My Life
  •     Through the Looking Glass and Into the Rabbit Hole: A Dizzying Exploration of Being a Buddhist in the Modern World
  •     The Unaffecting Daydream: Five Scenes from a Drama
  •     Grand Theft Auto III: The Art Behind the Controversy
  •     Behind Closed Doors: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire
  •     The Chic Shack: A Hotel Business Plan
  •     Can Dogs Think? An Inquiry Into Animal Learning

The York Prep Scholars Program offers the most motivated and able students a marvelous opportunity to work in small groups to explore exciting topics that are not part of the normal curriculum. Each Scholars Seminar is taught by a faculty member who has a particular passion for his/her subject matter. This year’s graduating Scholars will have participated in a rather remarkable set of classes that has included such representative topics as Art of the Italian Renaissance (a two-part series); Fantasy, Dada, and Surrealism; Performing Shakespeare; An Introduction to Organic Chemistry; Multi-variable Systems of Equations; An Introduction to Neuroscience; Thinking Like Leonardo Da Vinci; and Topics in Philosophy (with Mr. Ronald Stewart, York Prep’s Headmaster).

York Prep remains very proud of its Scholars and continues to take great satisfaction in watching them stretch their academic and creative muscles. In addition to the intrinsic benefits of their enhanced curriculum, participants are also receiving a gratifying degree of recognition in the form of college acceptances. Scholars who have engaged the full three-year sequence are now attending such schools as Barnard College, Brown University, Cornell University, Harvard College, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Pomona College, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and Williams College, among others.

This is the second year in which York Prep has expanded the program by offering an enhanced pre-Scholars curriculum to qualified 8th and 9th graders. They participate in a two-year pre-Scholars sequence that closely mirrors the established one for the 10th through 12th graders.

English teacher Paul Sturm serves as the Director of the program. He follows the progress of all participants closely; troubleshoots any problems they may be having in any of their classes; and provides support, counseling, and encouragement.

About York Prep School. A private coeducational and independent college preparatory day school offering a traditional curriculum for grades 6-12 with a challenging yet supportive atmosphere enhanced by the diversity of New York City. York Prep School is one of Manhattan's top private schools encouraging diversity and academic achievement in a supportive private school environment. More information can be found at http://www.yorkprep.org.

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Alicia Weschler
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