The 2022-2023 school year will mark Nikki Chester’s 19th year of teaching at Athens Academy.

She has worked as a science teacher, CARE club faculty sponsor, upper school advisory coordinator and this year will take on the new position of Capstone coordinator for grades 9-12.  

The Capstone program is something new that Athens Academy is implementing

“The goal of this program is to fast track some of the brilliant ideas that students already have, but maybe don’t have the real world experiences, resources or relationships necessary to achieve on their own,” said Chester. “We want to help students become better equipped and empowered to make a difference in the world around them by helping students utilize the collective resources within our school and greater community.”

To help prepare for her new role as Capstone coordinator, over the summer Chester has gotten certification through the International Coaching Federation, visited and collaborated with several schools and has attended seminars. 

“As the Capstone coordinator, I will primarily be working with students individually to identify areas where they want to engage in experiential learning and service outside of the classroom,” said Chester. “Once interests are identified, I will work to help students network with the outside community and take the steps necessary to meet their personal goals.” 

The Capstone program is a key component of Athens Academy’s current strategic plan. 

Capstone projects will help students gain real world experiences and give them access to new opportunities that will pay dividends well after graduation.

"The end goal is for students to be better equipped and empowered to make a difference in the world around them,” said Chester.  “This project will require doing work that goes well above and beyond what is required for the core high school graduation requirements. But for students who choose to opt in, the hope is that completion of the project will be one of the most meaningful and impactful experiences of their high school career.”  

For more on this story, see the Aug. 4 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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