Electives enable students to pursue their passions

Ella Vick, staff writer

South’s wide variety of electives offers every student a place to flourish. From Broadcasting to Foods, scholars receive opportunities to enter into new worlds and meet new people. With so many options, some may be left unsure which course is best for them. With the help of several students in diverse electives, undecided students can receive an inside look at a few of South’s prospects to help narrow down exactly which elective is right for them.

South’s Yearbook is a student-run program for folks of all grade levels. Scholars work hard all year to produce their very own yearbook; taking pictures, writing bylines, formatting and editing, according to sophomore Maggie Parsons. Students develop excellent communication skills from working closely with their peers for long periods of time. Parsons said that Yearbook is a family-oriented community and she treasures the bond she has formed with her peers.

“[While on Yearbook staff] you get to know each other on another level because you’re working together for a long period of time,” Parsons said. “You’re able to have experiences together both in and out of the classroom, which really enhances your time at South. You get to meet so many new people and everyone treats each other like family.”

South’s Fashion program is a place for students to take projects into their own hands and venture wherever their curiosity leads them. Sophomore Amirlyn Vasquez said that from sewing clothes to making collages, all are given the chance to work digitally or on paper to bring their ideas to life. Vasquez explained the freedom her fashion teacher gives their students allows them to truly invest their time into making creations that they are interested in.

“You make things that you want, that you know you would wear and love,” Vasquez explained. “My favorite part has been seeing where my creativity takes me, while still being very supported by my teacher. Before taking fashion, I never thought that I was creative at all. It has really opened up a new perspective for me. It has challenged me and led me to see what I am truly capable of.”

South’s Broadcasting program is a place for anyone interested in radio stations, radio laws, podcasts or broadcasts. Students in Intro to Broadcasting make their own podcast and learn how to legally operate a radio station. At first, freshman Ryan Solesky was unsure of his decision to enroll in a Broadcasting course. However, he discovered it to be a great fit, Solesky said. His choice to try something new led to the beginning of an incredible Broadcasting journey at South.

“So far, we have learned about broadcasting history: how radio stations work, legal radio IDs and laws,” said Solesky. “I had no idea I was good with podcasts until I learned from my teacher. I definitely would recommend [Intro to Broadcasting] to anybody interested in podcasts, broadcasting or radio.”

South’s Foods program is the perfect place for those curious about cooking, baking, food safety or cooking regulation. Students start by learning basic cooking skills and sanitation techniques that allow them to be confident in the kitchen. Freshman Tommy Gass was surprised to discover that his positive experience in Intro to Foods resulted in his passion for cooking.

“We learned about sanitation, cooking skills, kitchen regulation and cleaning,” Gass said. “It’s easy, fun and hands-on.”

If students decide to continue cooking after completing Intro to Foods, they enter into Advanced Foods. Here, scholars develop excellent problem-solving skills in addition to growing their comfort in the kitchen. Sophomore Angela Karavites said she appreciates the easy-going and fun nature of her Advanced Foods class. She loves getting advice from upperclassmen and taste-testing each new product.

“We are currently in our pies and pastries unit. Previously, we did bread, yeast, creampuffs, scones and other pastry-type things,” Karavites explained. “I get to eat the food I make and it’s such a low-pressure class. You barely get any homework, and it’s usually all grade levels so you meet new people.”

High School is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and meet new people, Karavites said. Electives are certain to enhance your experience at South, and they might even set you on a completely different career path. Karavites added that electives can be a nice escape from the academic rigor of core classes, and said she appreciates meeting many different kinds of students. 

“[South’s electives] are a great way to just hang out,” Karavites said. “With different grades intermingling, you can get advice from the older kids, you’re not worried or stressed; they’re a nice little break from everything.”

*Carter Johnson contributed to this story