From left, Olympic Peninsula Academy principal Vince Riccobene, OPA students Katherine Gould, Vincent Carrizosa and Jill Adolphsen, and interim superintendent Jane Pryne celebrate the addition of OPA’s newly constructed sign on Feb. 4. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

From left, Olympic Peninsula Academy principal Vince Riccobene, OPA students Katherine Gould, Vincent Carrizosa and Jill Adolphsen, and interim superintendent Jane Pryne celebrate the addition of OPA’s newly constructed sign on Feb. 4. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Olympic Peninsula Academy students lead drive for new school sign

Apropos for a school with an otter for its mascot, students at Olympic Peninsula Academy earlier this month gave their school a splash of color.

OPA celebrated its new, student-led project to add a school sign with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 4.

The sign was culmination of efforts by a trio of students — Jill Adolphsen, Vincent Carrizosa and Katherine Gould — as well as donations from Thomas Building Center and some elbow grease from Carrizosa’s grandfather Jerry Enzenauer.

Carrizosa and Enzenauer built the sign while Adolphsen and Gould added the artwork, OPA program coordinator Kim Glasser said.

In high school English or the Real World classes, OPA students choose a Passion Project to complete based on the concept, Glasser said, that the world needs “innovative thinkers who have a passionate drive to solve some incredibly complex problems.”

Glasser said she borrowed from the research of Daniel Pink and a team of Google-certified teachers to bring the Passion Project to OPA students.

To that end, students over a 12-week period spend about 20 percent of their school time devoted to a language arts-based project that students choose based on his/her unique interests.

“Each student chooses something he/she is passionate about and does a project,” Glasser said. “Vince Carrizosa didn’t like that OPA never had an official sign, so he worked with his grandpa to get it done for us. Jill will use her portion for her Real World class and Katherine will use it for her English class.”

OPA seniors are looking at building a greenhouse for the school, Glasser noted, after its previous one was demolished in moving the school to its current location.

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