photo used with permission of Harini Sethu
Many students who look for deeper academic learning with extracurricular work find company and support in co-curricular classes. These classes give students an opportunity to enrich their soft skills, such as leadership and teamwork, as well as contribute to school events and programs.
From culture to sports to academics, the photojournalism course artfully recaps the entire school year in their yearbook The Odyssey. Now on its 48th volume, the yearbook showcases every aspect of school life using a collection of photos and interviews amassed by the publication staff. Each individual spread requires writing, designing and editing before it can be printed.
The yearbook class, available to 10-12th graders, is divided into multiple teams, each tasked with completing a certain number of spreads by a given deadline. Teams are run by team leaders, who split content and design responsibilities between their members at the beginning of each deadline.
“This year, interviews are mainly through texts and phone calls,” junior Anna Nguyen said. “After interviewing, the interviews are transcribed and edited by our content editor. To design, we use a program called InDesign. It’s the reason why we can create the yearbook from home this year.”
Each year, returning staff members train the incoming class in the publication process and engage in-class activities and team bonding. Students in the class help each other develop skills that allow them to grow both academically and personally.
“I was a really shy person before I joined yearbook, but after a few interviews, I became more confident in myself,” Nguyen said. “Our team leaders this year are also great, hard-working people. They’re the backbone behind this year’s yearbook and they offer so much help and guidance.”
Dedicated to improving organizational and problem-solving skills, leadership class helps students both in school and their future work lives. The class focuses on teamwork and relationship building through various bonding activities. All students are eligible for the course after successfully completing an application, interview and teacher recommendations.
“My favorite part of the class is probably circle time, where we each answer a fun ‘get to know you’ question because the questions are always really funny,” junior Katie Webster said. “Since everyone has to answer, we get to learn a little more about our classmates each day.”
During class, students present ideas, participate in team-building activities and work on projects with their committees. Each committee is dedicated to a different leadership responsibility, such as community service, mental health, appreciation and school events.
This course also gives students a chance to get directly involved in the school community by organizing activities for the student body. These include events such as homecoming, prom and various community service projects.
“I enjoy the class a lot because it’s given me an opportunity to have a bigger voice in the school,” Webster said. “I also get to plan fun events and get to know people that I otherwise might not have.”
This course, offered to 11th and 12th graders, introduces students to the world of business ownership and teaches them valuable skills for when they enter the workforce. The curriculum contains a variety of case studies, guest speakers and projects that simulate real-world business situations to enhance student learning.
“This year, entrepreneurship has been a pretty cool class where we have been able to learn a lot about the business world,” junior Andrew Tacinelli said. “We have watched a ton of videos and done projects to help us understand how businesses work from the inside and how to keep them running.”
The class allows students to further the skills that will be directly applicable to their lives after high school. This includes not only learning about finances, marketing and business plans but also implementing those ideas through internship opportunities and field experience.
“I enjoy entrepreneurship because the things we learn about and the business world are interesting topics to me that will most likely affect my future,” Tacinelli said. “In a typical class, we usually work on a project or assignment that has to do with either making a small business or running a bigger one. We have come up with ideas for seasonal businesses and we also have a big business that we work on throughout the year.”
During each class, students are also given many opportunities to work with their classmates. This encourages students to build relationships with their peers and makes the course work more enjoyable.
“My favorite part about entrepreneurship is the fact that we get to do group work a lot and collaborate with our classmates instead of having to work alone,” Tachinelli said. “This is good to help ease the workload and have more fun while doing work.”
Other co-curricular classes offered to students include newspaper, broadcast journalism, theatre and debate. Information regarding these classes and others can be found under the course catalog on the school website.