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Webb meets ‘Challenge’

Before Webb School of Knoxville’s juniors hit the books this fall as seniors, they first hit the ropes Thursday, April 9, at Mountain Challenge at Maryville College.

The all-day event was part of a new two-part initiative focused on helping Webb’s rising seniors come together as a class and to fully understand their role as student leaders in the Upper School. Students also were given the opportunity to start talking about and planning for the type of senior year they hope to have as a class.

Student groups rotated through several outdoor team-building and problem-solving activities on Mountain Challenge’s low ropes course and met with Webb Upper School administrators to discuss what it means to be student leaders and to start laying the groundwork for their senior year experience.

“Students are so busy their senior year with academics and the college process,” said Webb Upper School Head Matt Macdonald.

“So this is a great opportunity for our rising seniors to stop and think about their actual senior year without all the individual worries or concerns about, say, physics or tennis or ‘where am I going to apply to college?’ We wanted to seize the moment now for our students to understand the importance of teamwork, character and leadership, and to give them the chance to talk about what they hope for the Class of 2010. And I hope that they will understand that we as administrators are here to facilitate and help where we can to create a year that they can look back on with fondness.”

The program, MacDonald added, provides the juniors with numerous life lessons. “We want to help these kids come together to learn leadership and character,” he said, “and to learn what it takes to put things into motion and have goals accomplished. We want them to understand that things just don’t happen; you have to prepare and plan.”

The rising seniors will return in August before the school year begins for the second portion of their senior initiative. They will attend an overnight weekend outdoor experience, and will revisit what was discussed in April, and talk about what needs to be done to start putting those ideas into motion.


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