Onekama Seniors enjoyed brunch at Arcadia Bluffs as a culmination of their etiquette course.

Author Bill Kelly wrote, “Good manners are a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.” The Senior class of Onekama High School recently had the opportunity to put Kelly’s words into action. The students participated in a four-session etiquette class designed to help them better navigate the world outside their classroom.

The course, taught by former Onekama teacher, principal, and superintendent Beth McCarthy, covered topics including first impressions, gracious guest practices, communication techniques, social awareness, and appropriate manners in daily living. Other subjects addressed during the sessions included the art of the "thank you" (through word, written notes, hostess gifts, etc.), interviewing skills, and confidence building exercises.

“The purpose of the presentations was to reinforce the lessons that the students have been taught by their parents and teachers,” explained McCarthy. “Our focus was ‘Life After School.’ Life experiences can sometimes be overwhelming. My goal was to support the students by giving them the skills necessary to be socially confident and, ultimately, to be prepared for success.”

 On November 21, the etiquette classes culminated in a distinctive practicum: a fine dining experience at the restaurant at Arcadia Bluffs. The 33 students, along with McCarthy and Senior class advisor Dana Woolman, were treated to a complimentary meal at Arcadia Bluffs, thanks to Bill Shriver, Chief Operating Officer, and Scott VerStrat, Director of Food and Beverage.

“The brunch setting gave the students a fine dining experience with opportunities to become familiar with appropriate attire, gratuities, seating, ordering, table conversation -- all while having a good time,” said McCarthy.

The students took away more from the experience than full stomachs. “It was great that Mrs. McCarthy taught us the importance of good etiquette,” said Onekama Senior Madalyn Harvey. “I really enjoyed it, especially because it's applicable to my life.”

Senior Cordell Williams commented, “From Mrs. McCarthy, I learned a lot of important life lessons. The trip to Arcadia Bluffs was an awesome experience, and I know it will be very helpful to all of us now and in the future.”

Onekama Superintendent Kevin Hughes reaffirmed the value of instructing students in life skills, and expressed gratitude to Arcadia Bluffs and McCarthy for their contributions to the students. Said Hughes, “Onekama Consolidated Schools appreciates the opportunity to teach its students the importance of suitable social interaction and etiquette to the Senior class at a world class facility like Arcadia Bluffs.”

The students paused for a class picture on the lawn of Arcadia Bluffs, with its sweeping views of Lake Michigan

< Onekama student Alex Welch figures 
   the tip on a mock dinner tab.

   November 2011


Onekama High School 2011-2012
Serving the students of Onekama School, pre-K through 12th grade, since 1997