At BFA, senior CeLynn Siemons has designed her own learning path along with her teacher Fred Griffin. Together, they developed an independent study course for a photo journalism class. CeLynn is able to take her passion for sports and photo-journalism and apply it to her learning in a meaningful, authentic way.


The overview of the course is to build a photo-journalistic portfolio featuring the BFA Nordic Ski Team. Every day, CeLynn writes 200-300 words about ski practice along with photos. For each ski race, she writes up an article. In addition, she researches and reads selected articles. At the end of the course, she would take all she has learned and all the daily pieces to create a feature article about the BFA Fairfax team.

Ski Photos by CeLynn

Recently, her work was shared with the St. Albans Messenger. As a result, her article as well as photos were featured in the sports section on January 13, 2015. CeLynn creates all of her work, while also competing on the team.

CeLynn’s 01/13 Article in St. Albans Messenger

This independent course has provided CeLynn an opportunity to prepare a digital portfolio for the Carole Remick’s New England High School Journalism Collaborative application. This summer workshop is an opportunity for students who want to learn to report, write, and edit for a newspaper and produce multimedia packages for a website. It is a chance to work and learn with professional staff from news organizations, including The Boston Globe. This independent study has made it possible to further develop her knowledge and pursue her interests.

Target 2. Leadership: FWSU students and staff lead innovative, personalized learning opportunities, both locally and globally.

Indicator of Success: Students and staff design and implement plans together.

Action Step: Ensure students take a leadership role in their learning using rich, authentic questions, problems they identify, and diverse resources to formulate solutions.

2 thoughts on “Picture-Perfect Personalized Learning

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