Four scholars were selected for the school’s Signature Scholars Research Program (SSRP). Last spring, applications were accepted for the program. Four applicants were accepted to the cohort, and students were announced this fall, the beginning of their junior year.
Joining this year’s SSRP cohort are Ami Batterjee, daughter of Dr. Abdul Batterjee and Mrs. Malak Wood of Grimesland, NC; Katherine Fensterle, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Fensterle of Sanford; Abbey Jones, daughter of Dr. Gary Jones and Ms. Michelle Laframbroise of Southern Pines; and Campbell Medford, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Medford of West End. They join seniors who are in their second year of the two-year program: Christina Acker, Rachel Wolff, Tylar Pastre, Audrey Kim and Luke Harper.
O’Neal launched the inaugural cohort of the SSRP in the fall of 2021. It is a highly selective program for upperclassmen who are not only academically strong but also passionate about a specific subject area. Applications for the program are submitted during students’ sophomore year. The two-year intensive study is directed by English Department Chair Dr. Nicole Camastra.
The first year as juniors, students take the research methodology and philosophy course taught by Dr. Camastra, who guides their exploratory research. That same year, the scholars write an annotated bibliography and research proposal; they also identify experts on their research topic as credible sources and plan the schedule and phases of the project from beginning to end.
While working with a faculty mentor during their senior year, the scholars produce a 10,000-word research paper or portfolio/product of relative weight and value. They present and discuss their research before the school community and the public. Students who complete the program will earn a diploma with distinction from O’Neal.
O’Neal’s SSRP is intended to allow these exceptional students to engage in an intensive student-centered and inquiry-based study that will challenge them well beyond a normal college preparatory or advanced placement program.