Perry Middle School students in Carla Wood’s Power Up program completed their study of Perry history and the Perry Wall of Witnesses Thursday by assembling their own Perry Middle School Wall of Witnesses and welcoming their nominees to an awards ceremony and reception.
The Power Up students began their research into the Wall of Witnesses and the qualities of character of Perry’s witnesses during the fall quarter. An eclectic group of 14 speakers addressed the Power Up class, sharing a variety of information with the students about the Perry community and Perry school system.
“I wanted my students to know the people, stories, structures and events from Perry’s past as well as what it takes to be a city, a community, a school district today,” Wood said. “I wanted students to see graduates who left for college and returned to work in Perry, to see students go through our school and be quite successful.”
A mini-field trip in November to the Soumas Court in downtown Perry to see the Wall of Witness in person was a highlight of the course, including complimentary hot chocolate from Tari Mason at Perry Perk and a walking tour of downtown sites.
Thursday’s party gave students a chance to read the nomination papers they wrote for the Perry Middle School Wall of Witness. The local nominees were invited to the reception in order to celebrate their inclusion on the wall. Nominees included Jenny Eklund, Joyce Hegstrom, Rhonda Kanealy, Tom Lipovac, Connie McGuire, John Palmer, Sven Peterson, Lori Seeley, Larry Vodenik and Clark Wicks.
“It was a wonderful day,” Wood said. “Thanks to all the wonderful speakers for volunteering your time and speaking to my students and instilling pride in our school and our community.”
Wood’s Power Up enrichment classes are designed for students proficient in math and reading. Each quarter features a different topic, often on a theme in social studies, and the sixth, seventh and eighth graders vote for their top topics, with the middle school guidance counselors helping to get them into the classes.
“It is days and events like this that make being a teacher so very rewarding!” Wood said.