Student Features

Owen Griffin


This week’s Student Feature Friday is 10th grader Owen Griffin whose skill with technology is put to good use at HHS. Owen is an active member of the HHS PIT Crew and can be found working on Chromebooks, in the MakerSpace fixing 3D printers and helping to make the library a welcoming place for all students and educators. Owen first developed an interest in working on computers when his father, a computer programmer, would let him take apart old laptops and devices to learn more about how they worked. During this process Owen learned how to put the pieces back together and began fixing technology that was no longer working, all the while developing his diagnostic skills. While working with Ms. Kuhne (Technology Integration Specialist), Owen says his “interest was sparked when she had him diagnose the 3D printer that students relied on for projects.” 

Both Ms. Kuhne and Ms. Gorman (Network Administrator) have relied on Owen to utilize his critical thinking skills to solve various issues in the building and develop solutions that provide better access for all students. He recently figured out a better way to utilize an iPad to help students create their 3D projects with the printer and is currently working with the Tech Team to provide feedback about the computer lab rehab project scheduled for the near future. Not only has he provided valuable assistance with the technology aspects of the project but he has also thought about ways to incorporate art, presentation skills and media information into the space so that students will have a well-rounded experience. He brings his same student-centered design approach when providing feedback about enhancing aspects of the library space for student enjoyment. Owen loves the calm environment that comes along with working on a broken machine and feels a sense of accomplishment when he is able to restore the technology for others to use. In the future, he hopes to have a career in technology…maybe working in a school one day.

Interview with Owen:


Q: What is it that interests you about taking apart and fixing computers and how did you develop the skills to do so?

A: I love taking apart a chromebook and seeing what makes it work and what makes it break. I develop the skills from taking apart old machines and laptops. My father gave me some from his job that no longer needed them.

Q: Your help in designing the computer lab in room 311 is much appreciated. Can you tell me a little more about your vision for the space and what you hope students will experience when they use the room?

A: I want to make a room that works for everyone and is open. I would like to also see the room involve art and different types of technology.

Q: How do you think the proposed changes to the library space will help to bring people together and increase the sense of belonging for students?

A: I would like to see the library become a more calm and a nicer workspace for everyone instead of having it how it is right now, which is still a comfy place, but not as much as it could be.

Q: What advice do you have for other students who have not yet found their interests or passions?

A:  I would just keep looking and try and get into different clubs or activities or if you’ve already found something that you already like try and incorporate it with something else that might be new or different.

Past Student Features

Interview with Maya:

Q: You have recently won a few awards for writing. Can you share a little about how you approach the writing process?


A: Whenever I have an idea for something I want to write, the first thing I do is share it with others. For me, feedback is the most important part of the writing process and I like to know what other people think about it from the very beginning. I did this when I started writing my one-act play about a year ago, and I gained a lot of support and suggestions in the process, most of which came from people who ended up being in the show months later. Throughout the process, I continued to have people review my work, and once finished and cast, I had actors give me feedback as well, and even suggest lines they thought should be added. This helped create a more collaborative process and helped motivate me through creating a longer piece. 


Q: During our conversation you mentioned that writing dialogue for plays is of great interest to you. What is it like for you to see actors performing your dialogue?


A: Seeing actors perform my dialogue is definitely a nerve-racking experience, but it is also a very rewarding one. You get a kind of instant feedback that you can't get from written word alone. It's especially important in a comedic show like mine, because you can hear the delivery and see other actors' reactions as they read it, and you can easily tell if something is going to come across the way you want.  The first time I heard anyone read my script aloud was at auditions, and even though I was the person that was supposed to be judging them, I can safely say I was far more nervous than any of the actors. However, in the end, I gained a lot of valuable insight.  I got to see people's reactions in real-time, so I knew what worked and what didn't, and I got to see what characters needed more development by the way the actors portrayed them. Then once I cast my show, I made those adjustments, and continued this process, hearing lines performed,  and getting feedback from my actors about what could be adjusted. 


Q: You have also expressed an interest in Art. How do you see art and theater combining or working together?


A: I think theater and art are in many ways intertwined with one another. Every performance that we do at the high school involves lots of visual art as well as acting, which can be seen through the costume, set, and even lighting design. I have used my background in art to help out in many of these aspects, most recently designing the sets for our original show, Writings on the Wall, which we performed for the METG festival this weekend. This was a difficult task because the shows we perform at this festival are always originals, so there are no previous productions to look to for inspiration, but it also allowed me to really get creative. Additionally, because we write our own shows, we don't have logos to use to publicize them, so I have also been using art to design original logos for our shirts, programs, and posters for the past 2 years. 


Q: What advice do you have for other students who have not yet found their interests or passions?


A: My biggest piece of advice would just be to try lots of things and have an open mind. With so many electives and activities at this school, there are lots of opportunities to try things you've never tried before, and learn things you know nothing about.  I think theater is a great place to do that because it's not competitive, so you can go in with no experience, and there are lots of different ways to get involved, so you can find what's right for you. Through my experience, I can safely say that although trying something completely foreign to you won't be easy, it can also be incredibly beneficial in discovering what you like and dislike, and realizing your passions.