AIE offers opportunity for students to participate in theatre(Dramatic Paws), compete in National History Day and participate in the high school’s Community Service Group. A student’s individual interests can also be addressed through contract projects and the I.D. (Individual Development) Program.
Annual Senior Class Fall Musical
AIE’s Senior class is required to produce and perform a musical each fall. All members of the class are required to participate at some level in assisting with the production.
Students enjoy acting, singing, building sets, operating lights and sound, creating costumes, developing choreography, functioning as stage hands, back stage directors and working with ticket sales and promotions. It is a fantastic part of each senior year for our students and one that promotes pride and camaraderie as they begin their last year together.
Annual High School Trip
Each year, high school students, 9-12 are offered the opportunity to travel by chartered bus to a different part of the U.S. AIE staff and parents chaperone the week-long trip. We depart the school the Sunday after Derby and return the following Saturday night. Each trip has a destination point. Along the way, we stop at various attractions and cities. In the past, students in grades 9-12 have visited Philadelphia, Boston, Jamestown, Williamsburg, New York, Hershey, St. Louis, Denver, Chicago, Chattanooga, St. Augustine, Savannah, Charlotte, Pigeon Forge, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonia, Dallas and Memphis. They have seen the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, whale watching, Plymouth Rock, Central Park, 911 Memorial, a Broadway play, Times Square, Amish country, Ruby Falls, an alligator farm, a lighthouse, the Fountain of Youth, the Biltmore Mansion, the Titanic exhibit, Mardi Gras World, Houston Space Center, the Alamo, Graceland, the Gateway Arch, Eisenhower’s birthplace, burial site and presidential library, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Bear Country, House on the Rock, the Badlands, and Shedd Aquarium.
Even though visiting these places and having these experiences is exciting, the students often remember best the memories created by working together on the trip and friendships enhanced while spending time together on the bus ride.
Dramatic Paws is AIE’s high school drama club. The members of this group are responsible for the spring production. Because of the relatively small size of our high school student body, individuals often have the opportunity to participate in many aspects of a high school production. Memories and skills gained are priceless to those who have chosen to be part of this activity, especially if they are able to be involved for several years.
National History Day
National History Day is a national competition that students willing to accept a competitive, academic challenge requiring specific skill sets, dedicated minds and determination find very satisfying. Each spring, students from around the country are asked to research topics defined by a specific boundary and create a product demonstrating skills of research through writing, web design, drama or display. Students then compete with other schools at local, state and national levels. We are excited to have AIE represented at the national competition outside Washington, DC for 14 or the past 16 years.
Each spring the junior and senior classes celebrate with a special evening just for them. Couples or singles dress up for the night in formal attire and enjoy an evening at the Spire located atop the Hyatt Downtown followed by a horse and carriage ride or on a river cruise aboard the “Princess” from Captain’s Quarters. The trolleys arrive at the school gym to transport the students to and from their destination. Professional photographers join us at our dining location and take picture of the students, formally as well as informal shots throughout the evening. Once they arrive back at the gym, students change clothes and enjoy an ice cream sundae buffet and the opportunity to play basketball and volleyball or participate in other activities. From 12 midnight to 3:00 a.m., the Renaissance Fun Park is open exclusively for our juniors and seniors to enjoy go-carts, putt-putt golf, laser tag, arcade games and pizza. Students then return to the Academy for a short social time and an early breakfast before heading home or being picked up. Each year, there is a great turn out for this event and wonderful memories are made.
Community Service Group
Our Community Service Group participates in service projects that allow for exposure to a variety of skills. We have conducted a petting zoo for a senior living facility, served homeless individuals at a shelter, coordinated drives within the school, and placed flags in a cemetery to mark the graves of veterans. Members of the group have also participated twice a month in the spring and fall to restore a historic cemetery that had been neglected for years. The ongoing project of working to restore the cemetery has been one of the most rewarding projects and the one that has offered an opportunity for each participating member to experience serving others. Clearing brush, raking grass, uncovering stones, resetting sunken markers and identifying veteran’s final resting places kept us busy for several hours on our volunteer days.
The unique approach that AIE uses in offering is high school students the ability to contract for grades has enabled several students to participate in outside activities of their choice. Engaging in opportunities provided by our community in areas such as drama, singing, sports, career interests, hobbies and other individual pursuits in encourage by our faculty.
Individual Development Program
The Academy’s I.D. (Individual Development) program is also available, at additional cost, to all students (K-12) and serves as a resource for academic tutoring, credit recovery, the development of individual interests and various workshops. This program is available to individuals year-round and can be accessed through the school office.