by Alexandra Hull (‘22)
In the mix of the stressful daily schedules of many gators, a variety of special electives are reserved to provide students with the opportunity to de-stress and take a brief break from the demanding world of high school. Each student at Sacred Heart is encouraged to take at least one elective throughout their 4 year experience as an effort to “educate the whole child”. Art electives vary from stained glass to photography to dance, and each individual course brings with it a unique set of skills and energy among its participants. With so many amazing options, it can be difficult to narrow down which elective seems most suitable for your own interests and personality. This article will provide all the details to help inform students about SHP’s creative programs.
Taught by Monte and Ms. Benjamin, this class is on the rise with an increasing number of gators willing to take on this challenging yet rewarding form of artistic expression. Outside of the awesome Pulse Team, the school offers a variety of dance genres and levels ranging from beginners to advanced. Classes are known to have a very welcoming and energetic vibe, with both teachers incredibly devoted and talented. Whether you are a future “Dancing With the Stars” winner, or have absolutely no sense of rhythm, there is a class fit just right for you. John Adrian Dioli ‘22 and Griffin Price ‘22 claim, “Dance has brought us closer to ourselves, and helped us discover that dancing is much harder than it looks. Also, it was fun to dance with the exchange students and learn about Spanish genres.”
Students in this class rarely fail to impress with their amazing on-paper artistic talents. Taught by Ms. O’Leary, Studio Art focuses on developing skills of sketching, painting, and tracing. Similar to dance, little experience is needed to be a part of this elective, and a variety of levels are offered. The classroom is an easy and comfortable place to bond with peers and relieve any pressure or stress one may encounter throughout their day. Kayla Schmidt ‘22, a member of an introductory class, says, “Studio art really lets me express myself in a peaceful and meditative way”. Although it is a more traditional form of art, the class is an awesome place to expand your knowledge of typical art forms and improve your skills in drawing.
Known to be one of the most enthusiastic groups on campus, drama class is an awesome place to be active and confident in a supportive atmosphere. This particular elective takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you through games, public speaking practice, and improv, while also familiarizing each student with stage edicate and theater dynamics. Mr. Adams teaches two levels of drama, introductory and advanced. Colleen Tanona ‘22, a beginner in theatrical arts, claims “Drama is a great place to express yourself and have a ton of fun with your classmates”. Not only does drama inform about the behind-the-scenes of acting, it also teaches some very helpful life-skills and aids in increasing the confidence of its students.
One of the most popular electives at SHP, Ceramics combines an interesting curriculum with plenty of hands on activities and practice. One of the coolest parts of this class is the ability to bring your amazing creations home to display and impress your family. Taught by Dr. Schultz, the classroom atmosphere is said to be one of the most friendly vibes at SHP. Many levels are offered, depending on your experience. Luke DeGrosz ‘22 claims, “Ceramics is a nice, relaxing break from the stress of school”. As with most introductory elective classes, little experience is required to join. However, there are also more advanced classes for those who have more experience with the art.
Have you ever wanted to make your own movie or show? In film-making, students are provided with this opportunity, along with amazing modern technology to ensure the excellence of their videos. Taught by Mr. Quinn, the course offers various tips and lessons on how to make quality films with the infusion of a variety of elements (scary, suspenseful, touching, happy). Being able to express yourself through such complex plots, characters, and scripts is a great way to take a break and be removed from reality for even a brief amount of time. Levels include introductory and advanced.
This unique elective combines creativity, geometry, and somewhat repetitive techniques to ultimately form your own mini masterpiece. Although parts of the course can be a little challenging, students say it is completely worth it. Ella Woodhead ‘22, a former stained glass student, states, “It was a great experience because it’s not an elective that you can take at most schools, and Mr. Bell always played music and brought donuts when we had class first period.” The course is taught by Mr. Bell and similar to ceramics in the sense that all creations are encouraged to be brought home and displayed to impress siblings and parents.
This class allows students to explore the art of being able to capture specific moments, people, objects, and places, while also providing information and history on photography as a whole. With Sacred Heart’s special access to cameras and other resources, students are able to receive the complete experience. Taught by Ms. Woods, the course allows students to express themselves through visual lenses and even the most simple captures. Sofia Moretti ’22, a beginning student, states, “I love taking photography, because it is fun to watch my pictures develop and learn about the process.”
Along with Drama, Chorus is a great place to gain confidence in an inviting and welcoming environment. If singing is an enjoyable hobby of yours, chorus is definitely the class for you. Not only do you gain knowledge about how to improve your vocal chords, but you also receive plenty of opportunities to perform and get used to being on stage. Regardless of your level of talent, chorus is a great place to become accustomed to singing in front of people. With Mr. Cano as the teacher, chorus students enjoy the class greatly and value its positive nature. Alyssa Turenne ’22 states, “It’s a fun and relaxing environment.”
Similar to chorus, symphony is a good area to further your musical skills and become more self-assured in your abilities. As long as you can play an instrument and read music, the class is happy to welcome you. Musicians get to play at many school events including gatherings and football games. Taught by Ms. Q, students enjoy her energetic personality which creates an awesome classroom vibe.