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Students of change

Seniors look toward a bright future in their own lives and for the planet

Article by Christy Phillippe

Photography by Michael McRuiz

Originally published in Tulsa City Lifestyle

Founded in 1922, Holland Hall, an independent Episcopal school in Tulsa, prepares its students for life outside of its halls. An English teacher and three seniors share what the school has meant to them—along with their ideas on environmental protection.

Michael Miller, senior

Activities: Tulsa Term program, saxophone, drama/theater and Chinese studies 

What does your future hold, and why?

I plan on attending college at Northwestern University in Chicago. I’m not sure yet what area of study I want to pursue.

How has Holland Hall prepared you for that future?

Above all else, I am a much better writer than I would have been without Holland Hall. Every class has some focus on writing, which has really helped me hone that skill. Also, because Holland Hall is so small, it’s given me the ability to become comfortable with public speaking and cultivate other skills that I will take with me after graduation. And the Tulsa Term program has been amazing—I have been able to take classes at Tulsa City Hall; it is essentially project-based education that integrates all of the different subjects together, and it has given me a great perspective on how to apply knowledge in real life.

What are you currently doing or hope to do in the future to help save the environment for future generations?

I am continually thinking of the effects my actions have on the world. I try to reduce my environmental impact and consumption, and I remember to clean up after myself. Whatever field I go into in the future, I will remain environmentally conscious, so that I can make a difference in this world.

Brock Davis, senior

Activities: basketball, track, shotput, discus, choir, volunteering at a local food bank

What does your future hold, and why?

I plan on going to college on a basketball scholarship and majoring in biology with a premed track. I hope to be an anesthesiologist or an orthopedic surgeon one day.

How has Holland Hall prepared you for that future?

The smaller class sizes here have allowed me to make greater connections and cultivate stronger relationships with people, both students and teachers. The teachers here have been great; I have learned so much from them. They have vouched for me, and I know they are committed to my success. I feel that all these close-knit relationships have given me better communication skills, and I know I will carry these skills with me after I graduate.

What is your favorite memory from Holland Hall?

I recently broke the points record for Holland Hall in a recent basketball game against our rival, Cascia Hall, with three dunks. The previous record holder was named Brock, too, so that was crazy. That was a big moment for all of us—for me, my parents, and the whole Holland Hall community!

What are you currently doing or hope to do in the future to help save the environment for future generations?

I have learned to really pay attention to my impact on the earth. I try to limit my use of plastics, recycling as much as I can. I also try to use reusable drink containers instead of disposable cups and straws. We have studied here how much our use of plastics affects life in the ocean, and so reducing the amount of plastic we discard can really make a difference.

Regina Scott, senior

Activities: Student body president, violin, drama, musicals, Muay Thai

What does your future hold, and why?

I really look forward to attending medical school, either here in Oklahoma at OU or at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

How has Holland Hall prepared you for that future?

The modular scheduling system we have here is incredible. It gives us a lot of free time, which really prepares us for real life. We must practice good time management and self-monitoring skills, but it gives us the freedom to pursue lots of interests, too, as well as develop relationships with our fellow students and our teachers. The close-knit community and the relationships I’ve built here have given me good people skills to carry into the future.

What is your favorite memory from Holland Hall?

All the memories I’ve created here are so good! They all come from the relationships that I’ve built with people through sports, through participating in drama and musicals, and with the smaller class sizes. There’s a closeness we can develop here among the students, and I love the memories I’ve made here.

What are you currently doing or hope to do in the future to help save the environment for future generations?

We are working on our recycling program here at Holland Hall; that is one of the things our environmental club has been focusing on. We did a presentation recently on trash in the ocean, and we also have trash pickup days here on campus. In the future, I am resolved to continue to be mindful of the environment and help to educate people on all these issues, to help keep our world a clean and beautiful place.

Markham Johnson, English teacher

What does your future hold, and why?

Before I became a teacher, I ran several large national arts organizations, and I created the largest outdoor arts festival in the country, and then ran the largest writers’ organization in the country in Washington, DC. I’ve been teaching at Holland Hall for 24 years, and this is my last year before retirement. I came to teach here because I wanted to be able to spend more time with my family. It has been such a rich experience here because of the fun and diverse experiences we cultivate with the students. After I retire, I plan to write more books and travel. In July, I will be participating in a bicycle ride across the state of Iowa, which should be a lot of fun!

What is your favorite memory from Holland Hall?

My favorite times here have been spent watching my students grow and learn, especially through the Downtown Tulsa Studies program and its offshoot, Tulsa Term. The kids have been able to get out and participate in the community and make a difference. 

What are you currently doing or hope to do in the future to help save the environment for future generations?

Our Downtown Tulsa Studies program has discussed many environmental issues, and our students have proposed greater uses for the Arkansas River and how it might be developed in the future. Holland Hall looks at issues through a variety of perspectives in our classes. We strive to make connections between the various classes that the students take. Everything relates together in the larger world; the English classes connect to the science classes, and so forth, and our science classes especially focus on caring for the environment in responsible ways.

Tips for students

“Make good use of every day in the classroom. Get all you can out of each class!” —Markham Johnson

“Don’t take anything for granted. Make the most of every opportunity. And don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.” —Michael Miller

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You might be surprised at the answers!” —Brock Davis

“Don’t box yourself in to one identity. Don’t be afraid to dive in headfirst and try different things.” —Regina Scott

Holland Hall is located at 5666 E 81st Street in Tulsa, 918.481.1111, HollandHall.org

  • Michael Miller, senior
  • Michael Miller, senior
  • Markham Johnson, English teacher
  • Brock Davis, senior
  • Regina Scott, senior
  • Brock Davis, senior
  • Markham Johnson, English teacher
  • Regina Scott, senior
  • Regina Scott, senior

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