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From Running a Small Businesses to Creating a School Newscast, Ozark Celebrates its First Class of Capstone Projects


collage of students who did capstones in 2024

In April, Ozark School District celebrated its first class of Academy Capstone students. The inaugural class consisted of 24 seniors who spent the school year researching and completing projects that aim at helping or improving the community in some way. Their projects were showcased at the April Board of Education meeting.

“The Capstone project is designed to allow students to explore an area of interest and connect that interest to the real world,” Director of Academies Leigh Jennings said. “Our first group of Capstone students consisted of 24 students, representing all six Academies. Their projects included starting small business and non-profit organizations, creating video and media productions, and coordinating community and school improvement projects. They learned organization and problem-solving skills as they often faced real-life challenges when trying to implement their projects. We are proud of all of the students' hard work and perseverance through this experience.” 

Below are descriptions of this year’s Capstone projects: 

  • Anna Idell (Health Sciences Academy): Researched the effects of COVID on teen technology use
  • Madison Essary (Health Sciences Academy): Focused on researching tangible ways to help the homeless 
  • Delaney Cardin & McKinley Scott (Arts & Communication Academy): Organized and ran Media Days for all student athletes and activities to be used in OHS Yearbook.     
  • Arden Taylor & Daniel Laney (Arts & Communication/Business & Computer Tech Academies): Created and ran a newscast for Ozark students about things going on in school    
  • Kamryn Parker (Arts & Communication Academy): Photographed Ozark's historical sites
  • Easton Beazley (Arts & Communication Academy): Worked on improving audio system/equipment in OHS auditorium including testing all equipment, finding problem areas and proposing solutions. 
  • Madi Beaman (Arts & Communication Academy): Created and advertised a talent show for OHS students including coordinating auditions. 
  • Aidan Johnson (Arts & Communication Academy): Produced a podcast on Ozark FFA program, which included interviewing teachers and students. 
  • Ella Counts (Business & Computer Tech Academy): Created nonprofit Think Pink, which focuses on combating the ‘pink tax’ and supplying women’s hygiene products to those in need. 
  • Eian McCracken (Business & Computer Tech Academy): Organized a Spike Ball tournament
  • Karlynn Sabor (Business & Computer Tech Academy): Created small business called Berryz
  • Elisha Averett (Business & Computer Tech Academy): Created a computerized chess program
  • Rachel Divine (Industrial & Engineering Technology Academy): Started the process of creating a robotic delivery system for the OIC that could deliver coffees and snacks from coffee stands to classrooms
  • Alexander Nichols (Industrial & Engineering Technology Academy): Designed, built and crafted electric guitar and bass from scratch 
  • Iggy Lipton (Natural Resources & Agriculture Academy): Traveled to Ozark elementary schools to teach students about different birds and birding as a whole. Also collected and donated birding equipment to elementary schools    
  • Leyna Anderson (Natural Resources & Agriculture Academy): Focused on native plant education and awareness, including installing a native plant bed at OTC and developing awareness signs. 
  • Emma Rowlett (Natural Resources & Agriculture Academy): Raised money for the Ozark Chinquapin Society to help with conservation efforts. Also grew native plants to install in garden beds around the city.
  • Lydia Evans (Natural Resources & Agriculture Academy): Completed an internship at Best Friends Animal Clinic.
  • Rebecca Gallo (Human Services Academy): Created custom cookie recipes for coffee bar at OIC and OHS
  • Ayla Hulbert (Human Services Academy): Created and ran event to showcase student artists of all mediums called Showcase of the Arts
  • Kately Sutherland (Human Services Academy): Researched and created program called Access Apparel which made custom shirts for chemo patients