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Senior Thesis Presentations

 

Culminating many years of rigorous academic effort and accomplishment, Veritas Academy Seniors face their final hurdle in the Senior Thesis capstone event in which each student presents a 20-minute memorized oral presentation on a topic they have researched for the entire year, followed by a 20-minute defense before a panel of judges.

 
RHETORIC COURSE

All students who will complete a thesis will enroll in Rhetoric. This course meets twice weekly for an hour. There are daily speaking exercises to refine the students’ public speaking presence. Additionally, students are taught effective research methods and how to craft winsome arguments for their speeches.

ADVISORS

Each student will be assigned an advisor. The advisors are volunteers whose goal is to help the student along the way. Students are required to meet with their advisors six times throughout the course of the year, but they should feel free to meet more frequently if desired.

GRADERS

Each student will be assigned a grader. The grader will assess each checkpoint and ensure that adequate progress is being made. There will be three main drafts that will receive a full mark-up by the grader.

 
OVERVIEW

The final draft of the research paper is due at an assigned date around the end of March or beginning of April. At this point, some students will be selected (Note: students will be graded using the Senior Thesis rubric; any who submit a passing paper at this deadline will be “selected”) and invited to participate in the Senior Thesis Competition. Students who are not selected for the competition or decline the invitation will present either in the evening the following week or during the day throughout the month of May. The students are then seeded by their grade in the course, and the nightly schedules are based off of that seeding. Details of all three tracks are as follows:

TRACK I: ADVANCED SENIOR THESIS COMPETITION (TOP 16)

The students who accept the invitation will present on a public stage the last week of April. Their speeches must be memorized and their panelists will include one or more experts in their fields of study. The winners from each night will present again in the Final Fourum at the end of the week. Each nightly winner will receive a small scholarship to be credited to his/her college bookstore, and the Final Fourum winner will receive an additional $2,000 scholarship that has historically been sponsored by the Reid, Collins & Tsai team of trial attorneys in Austin.

Students who successfully present in the April competition will receive credit on their transcripts for “Advanced Senior Thesis,” and their GPA will be weighted as an advanced course. These students will also be eligible for the Distinguished Diploma if they meet all the other criteria for this honor.

Judging Criteria – Winners for thesis are selected by a team of four (the Final Fourum quorum) that deliberate late into the night each night of the competition (discussions usually last for three or more hours). Presentation quality is definitely a factor in determining who wins, but it is not the factor, as the thesis is a yearlong project requiring deep research, quality writing, and the thoughtful crafting of the message to be delivered. The four members of the panel consider the five canons of rhetoric, the Q&A session, and other factors. They are outlined below:

INVENTION - The crafting of argument: Has the student used all means available to him/her to craft his/her arguments? Are the arguments sound and convincing? How is the logic? Are the arguments supported by a wealth of evidence? Are they well wrought?

ARRANGEMENT - The ordering of the speech: Is the argument easy to follow? Is the proposition clearly stated? How are the transitions? Did the listener ever feel lost? Was each section clearly separated from the others? Was there a piece of evidence or an argument that was in the incorrect place or would have worked better elsewhere?

STYLE - The, well, style of the speech: Are there memorable phrases? Was the speech fun and easy to listen to? Did the speech ever become boring or burdensome? Was the student winsome? Were the sentences carefully crafted? Did the student use any notable tropes orschemesin crafting his/her words? Was it repetitive? Was it, in a word, sonorous?

MEMORY - This one is pretty self-explanatory: Did the student have ready, fluid recall of his/her speech? Did s/he ever have to check his/her notes (this doesn't hurt the grade, it's just for comparison)? Were the student’s "hiccups" large or small?

DELIVERY - The quality of performance: How were the gestures? How was the cadence? Was the delivery wooden? Did the audience feel nervous for the student, or put at ease? Did the student seem natural and at home on stage? Did s/he make eye contact with the audience? How was his/her poise?

Q&A PORTION - Did the student answer the questions to the satisfaction of the judges? Did s/he demonstrate deference and humbleness? Did s/he interrupt? Did his/her answers reveal a depth of research, or did it reveal holes in the research? Did the student have ready answers for the most pressing questions (the ones s/he should really know)? Did s/he have knowledge of the source material and pertinent studies? Did the Q&A period reveal any large holes in the student’s reasoning?

"OSES" - These are measured for both the speech and Q&A portion. They are the three modes of appeal:

Ethos - Did the speaker establish him/herself as trustworthy, well read, informed, and morally upright? Did s/he make moral arguments from this already established solid ground?

Pathos - Did the speaker craft his/her arguments in such a way as to tug at the heartstrings of the audience? Did these arguments seem contrived? Did the student stealthily guide (in a moral way, of course) the emotions of the audience?

Logos - Was the student’s speech and Q&A free of fallacy, and was it logically sound?

TRACK II: ADVANCED SENIOR THESIS PRESENTATIONS

Students who wish to earn the advanced senior thesis, but are not in the top 16, will present in the evening during the week after the competition.  The expectations and grading are the same as during the competition, but they are not eligible for the scholarship.  Students who successfully present will receive credit on their transcripts for “Advanced Senior Thesis,” and their GPA will be weighted as an advanced course. These students will also be eligible for the Distinguished Diploma if they meet all the other criteria for this honor.

 
TRACK III: MAY SENIOR THESIS PRESENTATIONS

Some students may elect to present during the school day in the month of May. Veritas will not publicize the schedule for these presentations, but students may invite anyone they want to attend. The presentation quality should be excellent, but the speech does not have to be memorized. The panel of judges will consist primarily—or perhaps entirely—of members of the Veritas faculty, staff and/or board. Students presenting in May will be eligible for the Veritas diploma if they meet all the other criteria for this honor. Their papers and presentations will be assessed using the same rubric applied to the advanced senior theses (sans Memory), however, they will be afforded a 10-point curve. Their transcripts will read “Senior Thesis,” and their GPAs will not be weighted for this class.

TRACK IV: EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH THESIS (XRT)

Students who have a stronger leaning towards STEM related fields may choose to participate in our XRT program. These students spend the year executing their approved research plan, preparing a paper, and presenting their experimental research in a public forum. Throughout the school year, they meet regularly with the Science Department Head or another appropriate member of Veritas staff serving as their Research Advisor. Experimentation must be completed in time to compete in the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival (AERSF) in mid-February and any other science fair competitions that they advance to, including the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Presentation and defense of work will occur at approximately the same time as the other thesis tracks under guidelines established by the Science and Thesis Department Heads.


Monday, April 20, 2020  |  Online (Top 16)

In her thesis, Presley will argue why the FDA’s food additive approval process is flawed. She will argue that the FDA should change its regulation on food additives to exemplify a more strict regulation process like the European Union’s.

Presley Gesinger is the daughter of Jonathan and Stacey Gesinger and a sister to Peyton and Finn Gesinger. Presley came to Veritas in eighth grade and has enjoyed it ever since. She played tennis for three years of high school and was a district qualifier her junior and senior years. Presley also played soccer during her freshman and sophomore year of high school and was honored to be a part of the state championship soccer team during her freshman year. Presley is a member of the National Honor Society. She served on student congress for two years as a spirit ambassador. She plans to attend Auburn University in the fall of 2020. 

In his thesis, Will will argue for increased Government oversight for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He will argue the current amount of oversight is not adequate and veterans of our nation's armed forces are suffering as a result.

Will is the son of Mark and Sharla de Frere and brother of Kate. Will is a native of Austin and has attended Veritas since kindergarten. He has served on StuCon for the last four years, currently as prefect for the house of Müller and is the co-president of Bad Movie Club. As a senior, he was named captain of the soccer team and earned 2nd team all-district right back. Will enjoys playing rock and roll on his guitar. He plans to attend Texas A&M University where he will study agriculture, as well as join the Corps of Cadets to help prepare him for a career in the United States Army.

In her thesis, Meredith argues why the guardianship system must be abolished as an option for elder care. She outlines how guardianship strips the elderly of their rights, robs them of their assets, and overwhelms our resource-starved justice system.  She highlights how the system is inherently flawed and exploits the elderly by stealing their livelihood and their dignity.

Meredith Harper is the daughter of Dan and Leslie Harper, and a sister to her two older brothers, Noah and Joel (Veritas, 2017). Meredith has attended Veritas ever since she moved to Austin in 2015. Dabbling in tennis and soccer between broken foot incidents, she managed to score a spot as district qualifier for tennis the past two years. Meredith has been involved in a few start-ups on campus; she is the co-founder of the Bob Ross Club and the Veritas Retweet. Meredith is also a member of the National Honor Society. She has served on StuCon for the last two years, and has been an Austin Youth Council member for three years. She plans to attend Connecticut College in the fall of 2020.

In her thesis, Riley will explain the issues with the coroner system in the United States. She will argue that the coroner system needs to be replaced by a centralized medical examiner system.

Riley Rhodes is the daughter of Abe and Kasey Rhodes and a sister to Owen Rhodes. Riley has attended Veritas Academy since her 8th grade year. Throughout her high school career, Riley was involved in theater and the TAPPS One Act Play program. During her freshman and sophomore years of high school, she played on the varsity soccer team. Riley also has taken leadership roles in StuCon and she is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to attend Texas A&M University in the Fall of 2020.


Tuesday, April 21, 2020  |  Online (Top 16)

In her thesis, Anna will argue for abolishing academic teacher tenure in the university system. In its current state, academic tenure allows abuse of both students and the system, causes university budget issues, and threatens the competitive level of teaching needed in the university system. As tenure no longer serves its original, well intended purpose, it is necessary the system be removed from our universities.

Anna Henselman is the daughter of Brian and Jeannie Henselman and has attended Veritas for 8 years. A sister of 5 defenders, Anna calls Veritas home. In her time at the school, she has been able to serve the Citizens Theatre Company as Historian and President, StuCon as Baron, Reliquarian, and Prefect, and numerous clubs. Her fondest memories at Veritas include her freshman One Act experience, accompanying Veritas’ first musical, and the Experiencing Europe trip. Additionally, Anna competes and performs piano events approximately 30 times a year. Having studied from the age of 4, Anna has used her love for teaching and musical gifts to teach beginners and children with disabilities the piano. She began teaching her freshman year and has since committed her college studies to becoming an educator. Anna plans to attend Baylor University this fall to study Piano Pedagogy.

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In her thesis, Kennedy will argue that Texas’ Co-Requisite Mandate, a law passed in 2017, needs to be repealed. The Co-Requisite Mandate is an educational law that forces students in postsecondary Developmental Education to complete courses that impede growth as lower- literacy college students. This model has other serious implications, not only for lower-literacy students but also for the Developmental Education department. Kennedy hopes to bring awareness to this issue in hopes that this law will be lifted to empower students and teachers.

Kennedy Bailey is the daughter of Stephanie Frausto and Nathan Lundell and the sister of McKenna Bailey. She has attended Veritas since 6th grade. She enjoys reading her Bible, hunting, shooting, singing, playing guitar, hiking, baking, and exercising. Kennedy has also preached, taught classes, led Bible studies and prayer sessions, and organized community outreach activities at her church. She plans to attend ACC where she will earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and later transfer to be educated as a Physician Assistant. Kennedy desires to use her skills in the medical field to lead medical mission trips and minister to God’s unreached people. 

In her thesis, Ally will argue for the implementation of vocational education programs in prisons, demonstrating the benefits to the prisoners, the economy, and you, their potential neighbor. She will advocate for the prisoners’ rights as well as just punishments, to ensure that the victims are not belittled or forgotten.

Ally is the first child of Ryan and Brenda Metro, and volunteer life-coach to her 3 siblings: Tyler, Clara, and Cameron Metro. She has attended Veritas Academy ever since she moved to Austin her freshman year. Ally is especially grateful for the opportunities Veritas has provided, whether they were academic, athletic, or extra-curricular. During her time in the School of Rhetoric, Ally has lettered in academics and athletics, served on StuCon, and learned to open her locker. She was the Softball co-team captain while maintaining the strenuous post of Goldfish and Morale Supplier. Ally co-founded the Bob Ross Club and now works as an editor for Veritas Retweet. Senior year, she was elected as District 8 Representative on Austin’s Youth Council. Ally is so excited to see how her Veritas education stimulates her next 4 years at the University of Houston Honors College.

In his thesis, Colby argues why the United States should redefine hemp to be cannabis with 1% THC or less. He will argue that raising the current 0.3% to 1% still keeps hemp from being used to get intoxicated, and the raise in allowable THC will help hemp impact our country and world.

Colby Todd is the son of Jessica and Adam Todd and a brother to Addison and Jonathan Todd. Colby came to Veritas in 5th grade and has attended Veritas since. Colby lettered in basketball and baseball all four years of high school. His greatest athletic achievements were earning All-State honors in both Basketball and Baseball his Sophomore year when both teams had Veritas record seasons. He received Academic All-State in baseball and basketball his Junior and Senior year as well as being part of the National Honor Society. Colby has served on Student Congress for two years. His Junior year he served as a service ambassador, and his Senior year he has served as the Baron for the House of Muller. He plans to attend Baylor University in the Fall of 2020.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020  |  Online (Top 16)

In her thesis, Claire will argue why children under the age of eighteen should not be tried as adults or held in adult prisons. She will argue why the age of the offender is critically important in the criminal justice system and processes.

Claire Lang is the daughter of Zeb and Kim Lang, and the sister of Jackson Lang. She transferred to Veritas Academy in eleventh grade from Bowie High School, where she earned the Trustee’s scholar award both years. Claire played violin in school orchestras for five years, and has played piano for twelve years. She’s earned various awards in music as well as artwork from elementary to high school. She babysits frequently, and loves working and volunteering with children. Claire will attend Abilene Christian University after graduation for a degree in Psychology, and hopes to attend law school afterwards to become a Child Advocacy Lawyer.

In his thesis, Briggs will argue why the federal government should require companies that produce organic animal products to release specific records of how they treat their animals. He will argue that this release of records is necessary to hold the organic companies to their word.

Briggs Ellyson is the son of Scott and Abby Ellyson and the brother of Blake and Sophie Ellyson. He has attended Veritas since the third grade. Briggs has received multiple All-State awards in both Football and One Act and is also a two-time football state champion. He starred in Veritas’ production of Guys and Dolls as Sky Masterson his junior year and co-directed the 8th-grade production of Midsummers’ Night Dream his senior year. Briggs is also part of the National Honor Society. He loves to play sports, workout, and sing. His fondest memory of Veritas is embarking on the Europe trip and experiencing Europe with his best friends. Briggs plans to attend Baylor University in the fall.

In her thesis, Autumn will argue why more long term care options, such as Adult Foster Care, are needed in the coming years. She will argue that Medicaid’s Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) System should have a nationwide standard for Adult Foster Care to ensure it can be an accessible option to all senior citizens. 

Autumn Turner is the daughter of Kristen and Nathan Turner and a sister to Austin and Landon Turner. Autumn has attended Veritas off and on since her 1st grade year. She has attended the School of Rhetoric all four years of high school. She lettered in cheerleading all four years of high school, and completed her senior year as cheerleading captain. She also competed on the swim team her freshman year, and played soccer her sophomore and junior years as the goalie. Her greatest athletic accomplishments were earning 1st team all state in cheerleading two years in a row and 1st team all district in soccer, as well as being part of TAPPS Division II and TAPPS Division III teams that competed at state. Autumn also lettered in academics all four years of high school. She plans to attend the Ida Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University in the fall of 2020.

In his thesis, Christopher will argue for Congress to stop pharmaceutical patent evergreening by passing the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2019, or APPA. Millions of Americans can’t afford their medicines because Pharma has kept drug prices unconscionably high. Patent evergreening lets Pharma extend drug monopolies and stifle free and fair competition, keeping prices high. APPA will tackle evergreening with fair antitrust standards.

Christopher Tinker is the favorite, albeit only, son of Darrell and Denia Tinker. He has attended Veritas Academy since his kindergarten year in 2007. Christopher has participated in Veritas theatre throughout high school, including directing a play his senior year. He is also involved with the TAPPS academic team, placing in and winning several speech and current affairs events. Christopher has also participated in science fair, Veritas math club sponsored competitions, and robotics. His interests include control theory and both the scientific and legal sides of drug discovery. One of his favorite memories of Veritas is his senior class trip to Europe. Christopher plans to study Computer Engineering at Cal Poly.


Thursday, April 23, 2020  |  Online (Top 16)

In his thesis, Caleb will argue that Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome also known as PANS should be admitted to the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders also known as the DSM. This will ensure that children who are afflicted by this debilitating mental disorder will have access to and insurance for medical treatment. 

Caleb Chandler is the son of Chris and Allison Chandler. He is a brother to 4 siblings, Avery, Ethan, Tsegu, and Melashu Chandler. Caleb has lived in Austin all his life and has attended Veritas since the 4th grade. He has been a member of the football team all 4 years, lettering his junior and senior year. In his final year on the team, he was a captain and received an all-state award. He is proud of the success that the football program has enjoyed, and he hopes that Veritas will continue to be a dominant force in TAPPS. Caleb is also a member of the National Honor Society. He is excited to attend Texas Tech University in the Fall of 2020. 

In her thesis, Laura Grace will be arguing that all patients under the age of 30 should participate in required screening for eating disorders when attending their annual well-checks and physicals. She will argue that this will efficiently accomplish early detection of eating disorders and benefit the patients long-term recovery and finances.

Laura Grace Presley has attended Veritas Academy since 2007. She is the daughter of Kimball and Victoria Presley. In her high school years, she played volleyball and softball, served as a Service Ambassador on the Student Congress, and participated in community service and mission trips. Laura Grace plans to study Nutrition and Dietetics at Samford University in the Fall of 2020.

In his thesis, Jonathan will argue why automatic admissions to colleges based solely on rank is a flawed system and should be stopped. He will show how it is unfair to and hurts the individuals and institutions involved.

Jonathan Benard is the son of Kim and Gerald Benard. He has two brothers, Chris and Michael, and one sister, Nicole. Jonathan came back to Veritas in his sophomore year after attending for his 3rd grade. He competed in the One Act Play his senior year as the sound technician. Jonathan has been an active member and leader in many clubs during his time at Veritas, including Board Game Club, Bad Movie Club, and Bob Ross Club.

In Emily’s thesis, she will argue why the United States should pass a 20% excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce America’s rising obesity epidemic. 

Emily Kenyon started attending Veritas Academy her sophomore year. Her parents are Simon and Amy Kenyon, and she has four siblings. She loves to bake, and if she can’t bake then cooking will do. She has been in One Act all three years of attendance, ran in Cross Country, and played on the girl’s soccer team her junior year. She is also co-president of Board Game Club with Jonathan Benard and Henry Diehl.


Friday, April 24  |  Online  (Final Fourum)

Four presenters will advance to the Final Fourum and have the opportunity to compete for the Senior Thesis laureate and a scholarship from the Reid Collins & Tsai LLP team of trial attorneys. 

In his thesis, Colby argues why the United States should redefine hemp to be cannabis with 1%  THC or less. He will argue that raising the current 0.3% to 1% still keeps hemp from being used to get intoxicated, and the raise in allowable THC will help hemp impact our country and world.

Colby Todd is the son of Jessica and Adam Todd and a brother to Addison and Jonathan Todd. Colby came to Veritas in 5th grade and has attended Veritas since. Colby lettered in basketball and baseball all four years of high school. His greatest athletic achievements were earning All-State honors in both Basketball and Baseball his Sophomore year when both teams had Veritas record seasons. He received Academic All-State in baseball and basketball his Junior and Senior year as well as being part of the National Honor Society. Colby has served on Student Congress for two years. His Junior year he served as a service ambassador, and his Senior year he has served as the Baron for the House of Muller. He plans to attend Baylor University in the Fall of 2020.

In Emily’s thesis, she will argue why the United States should pass a 20% excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce America’s rising obesity epidemic. 

Emily Kenyon started attending Veritas Academy her sophomore year. Her parents are Simon and Amy Kenyon, and she has four siblings. She loves to bake, and if she can’t bake then cooking will do. She has been in One Act all three years of attendance, ran in Cross Country, and played on the girl’s soccer team her junior year. She is also co-president of Board Game Club with Jonathan Benard and Henry Diehl.

In his thesis, Christopher will argue for Congress to stop pharmaceutical patent evergreening by passing the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act of 2019, or APPA. Millions of Americans can’t afford their medicines because Pharma has kept drug prices unconscionably high. Patent evergreening lets Pharma extend drug monopolies and stifle free and fair competition, keeping prices high. APPA will tackle evergreening with fair antitrust standards.

Christopher Tinker is the favorite, albeit only, son of Darrell and Denia Tinker. He has attended Veritas Academy since his kindergarten year in 2007. Christopher has participated in Veritas theatre throughout high school, including directing a play his senior year. He is also involved with the TAPPS academic team, placing in and winning several speech and current affairs events. Christopher has also participated in science fair, Veritas math club sponsored competitions, and robotics. His interests include control theory and both the scientific and legal sides of drug discovery. One of his favorite memories of Veritas is his senior class trip to Europe. Christopher plans to study Computer Engineering at Cal Poly.

In her thesis, Meredith argues why the guardianship system must be abolished as an option for elder care. She outlines how guardianship strips the elderly of their rights, robs them of their assets, and overwhelms our resource-starved justice system.  She highlights how the system is inherently flawed and exploits the elderly by stealing their livelihood and their dignity.

Meredith Harper is the daughter of Dan and Leslie Harper, and a sister to her two older brothers, Noah and Joel (Veritas, 2017). Meredith has attended Veritas ever since she moved to Austin in 2015. Dabbling in tennis and soccer between broken foot incidents, she managed to score a spot as district qualifier for tennis the past two years. Meredith has been involved in a few start-ups on campus; she is the co-founder of the Bob Ross Club and the Veritas Retweet. Meredith is also a member of the National Honor Society. She has served on StuCon for the last two years, and has been an Austin Youth Council member for three years. She plans to attend Connecticut College in the fall of 2020.


Monday, April 27, 2020  |  Online

In her thesis, Raven will argue that the United States should implement play based pedagogy, the teaching method that explains concepts through interactive and guided play, into its kindergarten curricula instead of the lecture based pedagogy currently used. She will argue this because of its proven effectiveness in Finland’s academics and its ability to strengthen students socially, emotionally, and cognitively.

Raven Wright is the daughter of John Wright and Amy Jetel and sister of Easton and Zoe Wright. She has lived in Austin, Texas all her life and started attending Veritas Academy in 7th grade. During Raven’s sophomore year, she spent four months in Australia as a foreign exchange student. She is involved in Veritas in ways such as running on the Veritas Cross Country team and being the House of Francis’ current Baron. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing guitar. Raven will attend Texas A&M in the fall and pursue an Elementary Education degree.

In her thesis, Rachel will argue for the overturn of the Gregg v. Georgia case and the abolishment of the death penalty.

Rachel Knox is the daughter of Gloria and Chris Knox and the youngest sister to Faith and Isabella. Rachel started at Veritas her freshman year. Throughout her years, she managed the women’s varsity soccer team, participated in many clubs, and played tennis for three years. Her freshman year she received First Team All State in women’s varsity tennis, and she has also lettered in academics the past three years. Rachel served as spirit student ambassador her junior year and as Augustine Relequarian her senior year. Rachel is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans to attend Texas Uni versity at Dallas in the Fall of 2020.


Tuesday, April 28  |  Online

In his thesis, Henry Diehl will argue why colleges should be required to report their cases of sexual harassment to law enforcement. He will explain how the current system of handling is unjust to the accused, unreasonable for the college, and ineffective in protecting the victims.

Henry Diehl is the son of Meg and John Diehl. He has two younger sisters, Sarah and Grace, and two older brothers, J.R. and Scott. He has been attending Veritas Academy for 12 years. During his time at the school, he has enjoyed participating in Board Game Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, and Bad Movie Club. He also has been a part of the Veritas Basketball team for the last 4 years of high school. Henry looks forward to attending Texas A&M University in the fall.

In her thesis, Ella will argue that neither gender reassignment surgery nor hormone blockers should be available to anyone under the age of eighteen. She will argue that the risks for minors to undergo gender reassignment surgery are too extensive for underdeveloped bodies and minds.

Ella Simpkins is the daughter of John and Shannon Simpkins and sister to Madeline and Samantha Simpkins. Ella has attended Veritas since kindergarten and has loved each of these years. She swam for two years during high school, and she was a state qualifier both years. She is a member of the National Honor Society and plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas in the fall of 2020 to study Speech-Language Pathology and Interpreting for the deaf.

In her experimental research presentation, Megan will provide an overview of her research on social skill development in adolescents who use cochlear implants, discuss strategies and interventions that may help youth with hearing loss develop appropriate social skills, and make recommendations for further research.

Megan Cantwell is the daughter of Bob and Janette Cantwell and sister of Travis (Veritas 2018). Megan has attended Veritas since she moved to Austin in sixth grade. Over her high school career, Megan founded the Veritas robotics team, is a member of the National Honor Society, and served as a StuCon ministry team ambassador. Megan has also participated in the Independent Science Research program since 10th grade. Megan’s research on social skill development in adolescents who use cochlear implants has qualified her to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair twice (2018, 2020) where she earned second place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category. Megan considers her greatest accomplishment to be advocating for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Megan plans to study speech-language pathology and audiology at the University of Texas at Dallas.


 

"It is absurd to hold that a man should be ashamed of an inability to defend himself with his limbs, but not ashamed of an inability to defend himself with speech and reason; for the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than the use of his limbs."  ~Aristotle

 

Changes for 2020 Presentations

Online Venue

With a closed campus, thesis presentations for the Class of 2020 have been moved to an online format. Students will present live to our three in-house judges with their recordings posted for public viewing the following morning. As you can imagine, presenting to a screen is significantly different from speaking on a public stage, which is what our students have been preparing for since Grammar School. We are very impressed with their adaptability in this season.

Memorization Requirements

Due to the extension of Spring Break, a necessary adjustment to memorization deadlines was made. Therefore, students are only required to memorize the introduction and conclusion sections of this year's presentations. 

Community Access

We invite and encourage our community to take the time and view each senior's presentation. Presentations will be recorded, then posted below each student's name the following day by noon.

Fall Planning