Seminar class deepens the relationship between student and teacher

After three years of seminar together, senior Eli Soell and broadcast adviser Dorothy Swafford strengthen their bond


By Hunter Ristau

During seminar, senior Eli Soell enjoys the company of broadcast adviser Dorothy Swafford. “I feel like I can come in here [anytime],” Soell said. “I come in here every day before school and hang out.”

Abby Layton, JagWire A&E editor

After a long day of classes, students end their time in school by spending 40 minutes in their seminar class. Many students spend most of their high school career in the same seminar, and this is the case for senior Eli Soell. He has had broadcast adviser Dorothy Swafford as his seminar teacher since his sophomore year, the year he also had her for his Pre-AP English 10 class.

The pair uses seminar as a time to catch up, reflect and joke around, according to Soell. This helps to strengthen their relationship by giving them a time to relax away from broadcast.

“We do have that chance to just chill and talk about random things,” Soell said. “Seminar is just a time for us to hang out, talk and decompress after the day is over.”

As a result from spending their seminar time together, Swafford believes there are many mother-son qualities to their relationship.

Seminar is just a time for us to hang out, talk and decompress after the day is over.”

— senior Eli Soell

“I think it’s great, because we [tease each other] and joke all the time, because I treat him like he’s my son,” Swafford said. “We talk and have good times. I feel like I can go up and ask [Soell] anything, and I hope he can tell me anything.”

Junior Bailey Heffernon, a fellow broadcast and seminar student of two years, believes Swafford and Soell’s relationship also reflects the relationship the seminar class has with Swafford.

“I feel like all of us have the same relationship with Swaff, so then it’s just fun because we can bounce off of each other,” Heffernon said. “It’s not just those two; it’s just a whole dynamic between all of us which is really fun.”

Soell believes the reason the two have such a strong relationship is because of the numerous similarities in their personality.

“We’re both kind of reserved, but at the same time, once we get comfortable with each other, I feel like it’s just out there,” Soell said. “I’m laid back always, but with [Swafford] I get really sassy because I know I can, but I couldn’t do that necessarily with any other teacher.”

Swafford believes the two share a special bond, one that will carry into the future.

“I love Eli,” Swafford said. “He’s great. I think of him as a son, and I’m truly going to miss him next year. I just think that he’s going to be so great post high school … [and] he’s just so genuine. That’s what the world needs more of and I’m blessed to have had him these past three years.”

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