Too Many Choices, Not Enough Information

What are some of the electives that the school offers?

Students participated in a Gingerbread House Competition for the holidays.

Students participated in a Gingerbread House Competition for the holidays.

Do you know what you are doing next year? Course Request Form season is here again, and students must decide what classes they want to take the following year. The school offers an abundance of electives, from popular options such as Photography or Ceramics to lesser-known ones such as Introduction to Culinary Arts or Computer Graphics,  making it challenging to pick which ones to take. Below is a description of some of the electives available to students. 


Computer Graphics

“There’s really a lot of cool things you can do in this program,” said Ms. Gwenn Zaberer, the current computer graphics teacher.

Design by Mariah Nissenson, 11th

Students get opportunities to use the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite both in and outside of class. They learn how to use the programs it contains, such as Photoshop and InDesign, and gain experience with them.

“You don’t have to have experience to do Computer Graphics l,” said Ms. Zaberer. “A computer graphics class would be a good start [to digital art] because then you … have access to … the [Adobe] Creative Cloud [Suite] while you’re taking this class.”

Ms. Zaberer recommended the class for people who enjoy digital art and for people who are more serious about pursuing a career in computer graphics.

“[Computer graphics is] definitely also a career path,” Ms. Zaberer said. “You can be a graphic designer, [or a] graphic artist, and it’s good to get as much information on the Adobe Creative Cloud as you can, because it’s a very in-depth program.”

Design by Claire Goody, 9th

Computer Graphics can be taken as a sequence with Computer Graphics l, ll, and lll.                                         

Students created abstract designs using Adobe Illustrator to overlap letters. 




Gourmet Foods: Nutrition & Wellness

Do you like cooking or want to learn more about it? You might enjoy Gourmet Foods, currently taught by Ms. Emily Roszkowski. 

“In this class, you learn about nutrition, .. how to work in the kitchen, .. how to make healthy foods, and proper basic kitchen techniques,” said Ms. Roszkowski. 

Students will make muffins, pizza, chili, and chicken parmesan. 

“If you’re interested in learning more about food and safely working in the kitchen, this is a great class to take!” said Ms. Roszkowski.


Gourmet Foods: Introduction to Culinary Arts

Students participated in a Gingerbread House Competition for the holidays.

“If you took Nutrition & Wellness and want to take another foods class to satisfy your sequence, this is a great class to take!” said Ms. Roszkowski.

Students participated in a Gingerbread House Competition for the holidays.

This course covers more advanced culinary techniques, so it is recommended that students complete Nutrition & Wellness prior to taking this class, although Nutrition & Wellness is not a prerequisite.

“Foods that you make [include] stock, croissants, and risotto,” said Ms. Roszkowski. Students also learn things such as “cutting up an entire chicken.”


Introduction to Fashion Careers

Students show off dresses they made for Dress A Girl Around the World.

“If you’re interested in fashion, this is a great class,” said Ms. Roszkowski, who teaches the course. “[Students will] dive into the different aspects of the fashion industry, such as production, marketing, and business.

 Students will learn how to operate a sewing machine, which they use to make different projects, such as bags. 

“There is also a service project that has students make dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World,” said Ms. Roszkowski, which is an organization that gives a dress to girls who would otherwise be unable to get one all around the world. This course can satisfy the elective sequence requirement if taken with Interior Design. 



Introduction to Interior Design

“If you’re interested in interior design, this is a great class,” said Ms. Roszkowski.

Students will explore the differences between interior decorating and interior design while having the opportunity to go through the entire design process. 

“In the past, students have designed a nursery and toddler bedroom,” said Ms. Roszkowski.

“They also choose to design a space of their choosing such as their bedroom, living room, or basement.”

This course satisfies the elective sequence requirement if taken along with Fashion Careers.


Child Development & Parenting*

“[Child Development & Parenting] is a great introduction class for those interested in Early Childhood at the Career Center,” said Ms. Roszkowski.

Students will cover topics such as healthy relationships, pregnancy and prenatal care, childbirth and child development. 

“They will [also] have the opportunity to observe children at a local daycare,” said Ms. Roszkowski.

To satisfy the elective sequence requirement with this, take Early Childhood I & II.

*This class hasn’t been offered for a few years. 


Driver Education & Safety

“The class covers the material that you need to know … to get your license,” said Mr. Robert Ludwick, who currently teaches Driver’s Ed.

The class also meets the classroom requirements necessary for receiving a driver’s license in Virginia.

“There is no requirement to get in,” said Mr. Ludwick, which means that students can take the course before obtaining a learner’s permit.

It is a semester-long course offered in both the fall and spring semesters, so many students pair the class with either PE lll or a flex period. 


AP Psychology

“It’s fun, it’s entertaining, [and] it’s enjoyable,” said Ms. Keri Bongo, one of the AP Psychology teachers. “You learn about yourself, … about others, … about the world. You learn about how your brain works, how your body works, [and] how it works with other things.”

Some topics explored in this class include sleep, disorders, drugs, learning, hypnosis and more.

“I want students…to understand that AP psych is not very different than regular psych,” said Ms. Bongo. “It’s a little bit faster and you have the opportunity to take the AP exam in May [but] the content is the same. And if you do well, on your AP exam, you get credit for college. That’s huge.”

Ms. Bongo recommends that students who are interested in psychology take AP Psychology. 

“I would encourage most people if they’re considering taking psychology, [to] try to push into AP Psych,” said Ms. Bongo. “I think that … it’s a good intro level AP class, as long as they keep up with their work and they’re diligent about it. If you come in, ready and prepared and excited, you will have a fun time.”

Take advantage of the diverse course selection that the school offers. (Note that not all of these courses are offered every year, depending on student enrollment.) If any of these classes sound interesting, talk to your counselor and consider taking them next year.