Opening New Doors with Interim Week

Interim Week is a time for STA students to explore areas of interest and learn new things.


by Katelyn Buckley, Staff Member

At STA, Interim Week is the perfect time for students, alumnae, and teachers to get involved in many different activities that they are interested in. From a service trip to Tijuana to earning a CPR certification, STA students have many opportunities to explore areas of interest with the people of the community. Although Interim Week is a recent edition to STA, students being able to learn about topics of interest isn’t new. In the 1980’s, “Mini-Week” was a time for students to do this. They could learn about knitting, business and law, and auto mechanics. Opportunities for students to explore areas of interest have always been a part of STA.Behind all of these classes and trips available for the Interim Week coming next month, director of experiential learning Kelly Finn is working to make sure the experience is enjoyable for everyone involved. “This is a time to spread wings and open minds,” Finn said. Giving students opportunities to try something new is very important to Finn. “I want students to be open to new experiences and try something outside their comfort zones,” Finn said. “If a student didn’t get enrolled in a class they requested, I want them to go in with a positive attitude.” These courses also allow student and staff leaders a space to focus on their interests with other STA students, an important aspect of Interim Week. “We love giving class facilitators, whether students, faculty, or staff members the freedom to explore a personal passion,” Finn said.Teachers play a big part in this process. English teacher Samantha Kilgore is teaching students how to run a political campaign.  “I want students to understand by the end of this, that if you are interested [in politics] you can do it. You can really do anything you want,” Kilgore said. Kilgore is also involving Morgan Said, an alumna of STA who works with Mayor Quinton Lucas. Using the resources available, students are able to see how a true political campaign runs.  Even if one is not interested in political campaigns, Kilgore believes one can still learn valuable lessons from the interim course. “It’ll also be about the opportunities and how to sell yourself; it’s not just about politics, it’s about anything, any campaign, anything you want it to be.” Kilgore said. Along with teachers, alumnae, and parents leading classes, some students got involved in leadership roles during Interim Week. Junior Anna Rizzo is leading her own class on exploring career paths related to medicine. “My main goal for this class is to have the students that are interested in medical school and the medical fields be able to talk to many different professionals to see what it takes to be in the field and what may interest them,” Rizzo said. Rizzo’s class offers activities that students may not be able to get in an average science class. “I want [students] to get hands-on experience with dissection and suturing to get real-life experience into the medical field,” Rizzo said. Students in this class will be able to go to the UMKC medical school to get a real-life look into the world of medicine. Rizzo’s class prioritizes learning about and immersing oneself into medical culture to see if it is an interest. “I am super excited for my classmates and I to be able to learn more about medical careers, and learn more about themselves and their possible future in the process,” Rizzo said. A common theme of these different classes is that they are about finding out what is of personal interest. “I want students to be open to new experiences and try something outside of their comfort zone,” Finn said. “All of our classes are designed to get students moving, thinking and creating in new ways.”