St. Joan Antida High School's International Baccalaureate students present essays to advisors in inaugural Silver Platter Ceremony
St. Joan Antida High School's International Baccalaureate students present essays to advisors in inaugural Silver Platter Ceremony

Published by: The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Two years after St. Joan Antida High School became an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, the school hosted its first Silver Platter Ceremony. The event, which celebrates the culmination of 18 months of intensive research, analysis and writing, features the IB students presenting their final product – an extended essay or research project – to their advisors in exchange for an IB pin.

The project topics presented were diverse, ranging from the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on humans, to alchemy in art, to the ethical debate over physician-assisted suicide. The essays' authors were similarly diverse: St. Joan Antida High School seniors from various neighborhoods and backgrounds in Milwaukee. They did have this in common: A passion for learning, and a motivation to complete the intensive IB Extended Essay (IB Diploma Programme) or Reflective Project (IB Career-related Programme).

Witnessing the ceremony were proud parents, teachers, administrators, alumnae, board members and Sisters of Charity of St. Joan Antida.

Paul Gessner, Head of School for St. Joan Antida High School, congratulated the students on their dedication and hard work. He said, "St. Joan Antida International Baccalaureate students, you should be proud of all you have accomplished. Your research essay is comparable to any original research at the college level. You should be proud."

The Essays in the IB Diploma Programme focus on topics of individual interest and involve the independent research and writing skills expected at the university level. The Reflective Projects associated with the IB Career-related Programme involve students analyzing, critically discussing and evaluating an ethical issue arising from their career-related studies in Engineering.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB-DP) was created in 1968 to establish a pre-university curriculum that would provide international recognition for globally minded students. It is a rigorous course of study for high school Juniors and Seniors that provides a liberal arts curriculum from a global perspective. The students are expected to perform on a university level and sit for exams that are developed and assessed on international standards.

About St. Joan Antida High School

Founded in 1954, St. Joan Antida High School provides a student-centered, intensive college preparatory education to the young women it serves. As Milwaukee's newest International Baccalaureate World School (IB), SJA is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing a competitive education to its students. Partnering with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program, SJA has an enhanced STEM educational model that is oriented toward academic quality, a culture of excellence, and student-centered learning.