For many students,
summer break is
defined by free time
and long, easy days.
But for others, summer
presents an opportunity
to develop their
by Jennifer Kuhel
There’s a Clark Kent quality about Shaker
Heights High School senior Leo Schirokauer.
For nine months of the year, he
spends his days hustling through the
High School halls, bouncing between
classes, balancing homework and time
with friends and family, just like any
other student. Then in the summer, he
swaps his backpack for a lab coat, arriving
every weekday at the Wolstein Research
Building on the campus of Case Western
Reserve University, where he is working
to develop a treatment for American
Foulbrood, a disease fatal to honey bees.
If he’s successful, he’d be an entomological
Superman to an insect that’s an integral
(and increasingly fragile and vulnerable)
member of the agricultural industry.
Leo is among Shaker Schools’
motivated students whose summer
experiences may not be typical, but are
self-initiated and learning opportunities
for them nonetheless.
“One of the core values at Shaker
Schools is that breadth of experience
is vital,” says David Glasner, executive
director of Curriculum and Instruction.
“Our IB program supports a holistic, global
education and our teachers encourage and
support students in opportunities that
take place outside the classroom. We want
our students to leverage their skills and
knowledge to solve problems and improve
our communities, which is precisely what
Leo, and others like him, are doing.”
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