Electives night for incoming freshmen a success

February 1, 2013 — by Nick Chow
The gym was packed with bright, young faces as hundreds of incoming students and their parents watched performances by the winter guard and the cheer team on the evening of Jan. 28.

The gym was packed with bright, young faces as hundreds of incoming students and their parents watched performances by the winter guard and the cheer team on the evening of Jan. 28.

Getting a glimpse of just a few activities offered at the school, eager students and parents piled into the small gym where they sampled their options of elections in the coming years.

Among the activities at Electives Night were performances by drama, orchestra, choir, band, Winter Guard and Cheer. After music director Michael Boitz and athletic director Tim Lugo encouraged incoming freshmen to join their respective departments, students walked around from booth to booth, but some already had an idea of which electives they wanted to take in high school.

“Next year I’m hoping to take band and Spanish,” eighth grader Peter Vandevort said, “band because I’ve been in band for the past five years and Spanish because I took it last year, and I want to get back into it.”

Other students like incoming Kavya Sadras are not sure exactly what elective they want to take, but are sure of their general direction.

“I want to take some kind of language and drama and choir,” Sadras said. “I really love theater, and I like to sing and act, so I was thinking about doing drama and choir.”

Although, according to assistant principal Brian Safine, this year’s electives night had an unprecedented 800 people attending the event. The main difference was in a new elective being offered to freshmen: engineering.

The new engineering class came about during the discussion about the possibility of an open freshmen class due to the cancellation of ninth grade health and drivers education.

Math teacher Audrey Warmuth said that initially the class was geared toward an introductory program for computer science, but the math department decided to integrate many aspects of science into the class.

“[The math department] got together, and we were like, why just make the class computer science?” Warmuth said. “Why shouldn’t it be STEM, because STEM is science, technology, engineering and math?”

At this point, principal Paul Robinson said that Project Lead the Way, a STEM program at the former San Diego high school where he was principal, was highly successful, and could be implemented in the school curriculum.

Not all electives were new, however. Current electives such as music, art, drama and journalism garnered heavy interest.

Incoming freshman Eric Wang, who has been playing the cello for six years, is interested in being a part of the music department.

“I feel like joining orchestra will help me get better and I’ll be playing the cello more,” Wang said.

Ultimately, Electives Night gives incoming freshmen a chance to preview the multitude of activities that they will be involved in for the next four years of their lives.

“I like how [there is] a lot of variety [in electives], and it’s a lot different than middle school,” Wang said. “There’s a lot of people you can meet, and a lot of new things that I can choose from.”

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