Curriculum » Senior Capstone

Senior Capstone

"For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.”
--Dorothy L. Sayers

Senior Capstone 


The Senior Capstone is the culmination of a scholar's educational path at John Adams Academy. Consisting of three main parts, (the Senior Service Project, the Senior Thesis & Defense, and the Senior Speech,) the capstone allows scholars to demonstrate the extent to which they have internalized the educational vision of John Adams Academy. During their senior year, scholars take a "Senior Capstone" course to provide sufficient time, training, and support as they seek to produce what should be the finest work of their academic career. A brief description of each element of the Senior Capstone is provided below:


Senior Service Project:

The Senior Service Project, which is planned, coordinated, and executed by the scholar, displays the scholar's commitment to Servant Leadership. Scholars showcase their Creativity and Entrepreneurial Spirit by identifying a need in their community, and attempting to address it through a targeted project. Additional academy core values are on display as scholars regularly demonstrate Public and Private Virtue, an Appreciation of our National Heritage, and an Abundance Mentality as they carry out their projects. Scholars actively strive to Build a Culture of Greatness by freely giving of their time, talents, and energies to improve the lives of those around them.


Senior Thesis and Defense:

The Senior Thesis, a 15-20 page academic thesis which critically engages one or more of the classics a scholar has encountered at John Adams Academy, is a concrete demonstration of the High Standards of Academic Excellence to which all John Adams Academy Scholars are held. Scholars are expected to formulate a meaningful question of fundamental importance to mankind for research, conduct the necessary investigations to adequately answer the question, and then present the findings of their investigation in a logically sound, rhetorically persuasive paper. The oral communication skills of the scholar are also displayed, as the argument of the thesis must be verbally defended by the scholar in front of a panel of faculty members. In addition to allowing scholars to display their commitment to High Standards of Academic Excellence, the senior thesis is also the crowning example of John Adams Academy's commitment to Scholar Empowered Learning, as scholars are provided with an opportunity to dive deeply into a topic of their choosing and independently synthesize the knowledge they have acquired during their time at the academy into a cohesive whole. 


Senior Speech:

The Senior Speech, a 10-15 minute inspirational speech on what a scholar has learned during their time at John Adams Academy, is prepared and delivered by all departing seniors. The speech takes place in front of a collection of scholars, faculty and staff, and community members invited to attend by the scholars. Scholars are encouraged to view the opportunity as an act of statesmanship, by which they are to inspire those in attendance to become better members of their families, communities, organizations, and country.