MVRHS committee impressed by student achievement

MVRHS has a number of programs that are encouraging student engagement. — Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) students were the teachers Monday, and school committee members were the students. The committee was pleased with the lesson. Both students and teachers cited successful high school programs and highlighted student achievement.

Students and Lisa Knight, a physical education teacher and coach, described a mentorship course for young people with disabilities. Students serve as teachers’ assistants in an adapted physical education class.

“I think it’s a good thing for every student to have the opportunity if they want to, to be able to do that,” Alana Morris, a student, said.

The committee heard from Curtis Fisher and Annica Schmidt, two students working on a project that will be entered at a competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Natalie Munn, a chemistry teacher and co-advisor of MVironment Club, works with students in a STEAM program — short for science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics — whose goal is to determine whether nitrogen levels in surface water can be lowered through regular harvesting of phragmites.

Daniel Gaines, the winner of the high school science fair, presented his project, in which he explored the construction of a virus that targets one type of human tissue cells and may eventually become a form of cancer treatment, but one that will do less damage than traditional chemotherapy treatments. Daniel, a senior at MVRHS, worked on the project with Carrie Fyler, his biology teacher. “We developed a senior project or independent study, so I could work more on this project and get real lab time, and go through what the whole research process would be like if I was in college and in actual laboratory classes,” Daniel said.

Students will get a finance lesson on April 26, in a program for financial education offered by Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank and set up by Barbara-Jean Chauvin, assistant high school principal. Students will learn how to budget on a fixed income, and they’ll have a credit-counseling session.

“We all don’t see what’s going on in this building,” Robert Lionette, chairman of the committee, said. “For you to come here and present your work to us all is really important, and it’s a window we need, and it’s very much appreciated.”