2011 jag academics

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The academic section of the 2011 JAG.


  • the theory

    AP Studio Art helps students furthur develop their artistic abilities

    AP Music Theory encourages students to pursue music education careers Voices echoed off the steep ceilings as students in Deb Steiners AP Music Theory class alternated reading passages from the hefty textbooks resting on their laps. Students occasionally interrupted the lesson with questions and requests for clarifica-tion to which Steiner responded to with words of encouragement and advice. A lot of it is encouraging [students] and letting them know [music education] is something they would be good at, Steiner said. One of my goals as a music educator is to teach students to follow their interests. In the class, students learned to sight read and interpret music with technical skill. Junior Morgan Ottesen believed Steiners encouragement served as motivation as she explored her interest in a possible career in music education.

    Steiner is like my idol. She is the teacher who told me to go for it, Ottesen said. She gives me pointers on how to conduct and better ways to teach. Ottesen hoped to apply the experience gained to future music theory classes. If I didnt understand [AP Music Theory] I knew I would still have another year and a half to take College Theory I, Ottesen said. Steiner believed that the students gained valu-able experience that helped them explore a career in music education. The percentage of students who go into a music education career is small, Steiner said. For the nine students who are in here [this class] will provide them with a good experience.

    By Camden Bender

    The computers near the corner of GL-101 played soft music as the morning sun streamed through the windows. At tables of two or three, students worked on their independent projects for AP Studio Art, punctuating their work time with questions, criticism and praise. Sophomore Kelsey Winscott held up her project and asked for advice on how to improve her composition. Ive always felt inspired by art, Winscott said. You see things in pictures that you like and you wonder Can I do that? Winscotts interest in art led to her desire to challenge herself by taking the course. I felt that the regular [art] classes were too easy for me, Winscott said. I wanted to push beyond the assignment and I felt bored in the other classes. Art teacher Erica Crist believed that Winscotts skills developed enough in Art Foundations to allow her success in a higher level class.

    Most students in AP Studio Art already have a strong design base and skill set, Crist said. This class will help [Winscott] develop a strong portfolio. It will help her become more independent in her creative endeavors. Winscott believed Crists experience as an art teacher helped her grow as an artist during the class. [Crist will] help you if your composition is off and tell you when to move on, Winscott said. She is a good influence to have because she will interact with you and help you improve your work. Winscott hoped to take her skills gathered in class and use them to help other artists explore their interests in art. I might become an art teacher or incorporate art into science, Winscott said. With being an art teacher you get the opportunity to watch young artists develop and grow.

    By Camden Bender

    Hurriedly completing the reading assignment from the previous AP Literature and Composition class, senior Grace McWhirt stressed over her end-less homework in the new class taught by English teacher Justin Bogart.

    Along with the larger workload, students gained exposure to new types of thinking and writing. Their reading assignments demanded them to look beyond what the author wrote.

    [You have to] look for something in the text. Its never what is just there, McWhirt said. [I] always look between the lines.

    One of the most feared elements of the class

    were timed essays, which involved students reading a piece of literature and writing an essay within a limited amount of time. Senior Colin Hilk struggled with staying organized and finishing in time.

    Ill branch off on to a different thought and have a half written paper over the wrong stuff, Hilk said.

    Bogart believed that the benefits outweighed the difficulties of the class.

    [The experience] has opened their eyes, Bogart said. They will find the real value once they look deeper into the literature.

    By Lisa Galvan


    AP Literature and Composition students gain insight in rigorous course

    Above Concentrating on the text, AP Music Theory students listen to each other read from their book on Monday, Sept. 13. I love the class, junior Morgan Ottesen said. Its probably my hardest class, just because of the different thinking it takes. By Carly Granato

    Above Senior Marysa Nickum focuses on her artwork, Lean Like a Cello, a choice piece created as a part of her breadth portfolio in AP Studio Art. There is a lot of trust with the teacher [Ms. Crist] because she knows youre there for art and not just for high school credits, Nickum said.

    By Carly Granato

    Far Below Discussing her artwork with fellow students on Wednesday, Oct. 13 during AP Studio Art, senior Grace McWhirt seeks methods to improve her composition. Sitting there drawing and talking to people is really helpful, McWhirt said. Everyone always comments on your work.

    By Camden Bender












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    ter between the juniors and seniors have large workloads in advanced classesup

    dominant Attempting to improve the quality of her artwork, sophomore Kelsey Winscott asks for advice from AP Studio Art teacher Erica Crist on Monday, Oct. 11. Getting ev-erything done on time and being able to focus [is difficult], Winscott said. Everyone else is so good, youre expected to be awesome.

    By Camden Bender

    Senior AP Literature and Composition Junior AP Language and Composition15 essays24 books6344 pages

    10 essays15 books6572 pages

    By Camden Bender

    plyingnew skillsnew AP classes help students explore academic interests


    Above Senior AP Literature and Composi-tion circles up to help each other fix problem areas in their papers on Monday, Oct. 11. [Bogart] is the best English teacher Ive had, senior Elise McEllhiney said. Hes the only teacher Ive had that doesnt expect a specific opinion.

    By Carly Granato

    This year the work load is a lot heavier than previous years. I was actually surprised by the amount of

    work we have to do, senior Hayley Janner said.

    Im actually kind of excited. Reading is actually my favorite part of English,

    junior Jessica Parke said.

    Below In collaboration with junior AP Language and Composition students from De Soto High School, junior Josh Duden attempts to analyze themes from the documentary Babies on Thursday, Nov. 4. I wasnt a huge fan of the [documentary], Duden said. But the discussion shows we are on the same level as [the DHS students] and that we are learning.

    By Carly Granato

    By Aleksandra Milewski

  • Frustrated students and teachers rushed the halls frantically as they made their way through the C-Wing all first quarter. The lack of bells, projec-tors, computers and intercoms caused disruptions in the classroom. Delays in finishing the wing were two-fold: the construction company not finishing on time and not enough technology staff to get things up and run-ning. The delay of the expansion led to problems in acquiring the technology needed to teach in the new wing. Technology teacher Adam King did not have working computers for the first three weeks into the quarter, making it difficult for him to teach his classes. In place of the computers, his curriculum consisted of discussions, readings, drawings and working in the library. It took a while to get into the flow of what the course was about, King said. In addition to the missing computers, students and staff encountered difficulties when keeping up on daily announcements without intercoms. I felt cut off from the rest of the school because we were not able to hear announcements, junior

    Andrew Knabel said. The need to adapt to the lack of intercoms presented a challenge when trying to create a sense of order. Though teachers received their own room, some still traveled to the new classrooms in the C-Wing for funding purposes during the first quarter. There is a state funding format that involves additional money for new constructed or modified rooms, associate principal Matt Fedde said. We wanted to maximize the number of kids in each room to receive more of that funding. Art teacher Jodi Ellis said traveling caused her to focus more on tedious planning instead of routine lesson plans and projects. It was frustrating because you know and or-ganize your room to make it your own, Ellis said. You leave your comfort zone making [teaching] more stressful. The confusion concluded after most projects were completed by the start of second quarter. It was a flustering way to start off the year but I think we will start to get into a flow of things, Knabel said.

    By Kelsey Barrett

    How does it feel to have your own classroom?I dont know if its the atmosphere or just having my own space but its great.

    How does having the other art rooms across the school affect you?I want to make an art hall to display student art work. With the ground level rooms, that is difficult.

    What benefits have come from your new