By Cassandra Stegner
Proudly displayed on the front page of the NEHS website is the IB logo, along with the bolded tagline “North Eugene is an International Baccalaureate World School.” Along with this declaration and a devoted IB tab on the website, it’s plain to see that our school takes pride in its status and involvement with such a highly regarded and world-wide program. According to the International Baccalaureate website, more than 4,000 schools are currently involved in the program, with just 33 of them in Oregon.
North Eugene’s decision to adopt the program came after the end of “Small Schools,” as teachers wanted to “see more students accessing high level curriculum,” according to Courtney Leonard, NEHS’s International Baccalaureate coordinator. “We want every student to be ready for whatever comes next after high school and we want to make sure they’ve got the skills and abilities to access information and think critically.” North’s teachers and administrators were in agreement: IB appeared to be the perfect option.
While some students question the school’s decision to make certain IB classes mandatory for juniors and seniors, others have been vocal about their support. Eleventh grader Sierra Carl appreciates the challenge her classes provide, and likes that the course work “really gets you to think… gives you an opportunity to engage with other people about your opinions.” Beside the useful skills reinforced through International Baccalaureate course work, the IB diploma can give students incredible opportunities: the potential for scholarships, college credit, and gargantuan amounts of intrinsic reward.
Through becoming involved in North Eugene’s IB program, students will be exposed to engaging and thought provoking material, and presented with opportunities for the future that wouldn’t normally exist. Teachers and students alike agree that the benefits of IB classes are long lasting, and well worth the time and effort that they require.