As the last step toward graduation, the seniors at Geneva School write and defend a thesis. The senior thesis is a dissertation in which the student advances an original point of view, typically on a controversial topic. Seniors begin the academic year by selecting a topic with help from their faculty adviser. Topics are then researched and a final draft is submitted before the student prepares for the oral presentation.
The first part of the thesis presentation is an eloquent 20-minute speech delivered from memory. The speech is delivered before three panelists, schoolmates, parents, faculty members and guests. Upon completion of the oral presentation, the invited panelists, conversant in the thesis topic, question the student on points that have been raised. The student demonstrates competency in fielding the questions by “thinking on his feet.”
Eleanor Galbreath, daughter of Autumn Dawn and David Galbreath of Fair Oaks Ranch, was recognized as the 2019 winner of the G.K. Chesterton Award for the best overall senior thesis presentation. Rhetoric School Headmaster Rob Shelton presented her with a plaque at the school’s Closing Assembly. Other G.K. Chesterton Finalists were Jillian Albus, Amy Ambelang, Aisling Ayers, William Cone, Gabi Griffey, Aidan Hamilton, Jacqueline Knox, Aimée Metzger, Ashley Salter and Matthew Schroder.