Faring Well at the Curriculum Fair


As the course selection process sneaked up on students last week, HH departments organized a triad of Lunch and Learn activities to exhibit what opportunities they can offer to students next year. On Thursday, Feb. 2, students gathered in the Gym, Music wing, and Arts Gallery to witness what taking certain classes would look like for them. The idea to expand the Arts Crawl into Curriculum Fair stems from the Language Department, and later they opted to involve other departments as well.

Junior Christian Henshaw (left) getting his portrait drawn.

“It’s not the first year for the Arts Crawl,” Assistant Principal Mrs. Sarah Berman commented. “But this is the first year we added opportunities for all subject areas. The idea originated from teachers. They wanted to share not just the course description but to share what will go on in the class, to have a more hands-on experience.”

Students  also participated in advertising classes by demonstrating what they have learned from their time there. Senior Erin Olexy, while at the pottery wheel, said,

Senior Erin Olexy at the pottery wheel.

“I’d like to see more people get interested in pottery. Not many people do ceramics. I hope that will change. I’m making coffee cups for college right now. It teaches you patience, creativity, valuable life skills.”

Junior Christian Henshaw checked out the Arts Crawl. 

“It’s a great idea,” he said. “I’m definitely more interested in art classes now. These are all cool classes, jewelry, all that.”

To showcase their skills, current Art students were offering to draw portraits for participants. This allowed interested students to be on the receiving end of art and yet learn about skills taught in the courses available to them. 

Christian had his portrait done. He said, “I feel like we could take a new approach to creativity. These classes are a great opportunity.” 

Freshmen Lily Fagan and Caprice Gaeta saw their interests represented in classes like pottery and cooking which sparked their old curiosity in art.

Freshmen Lily Fagan and Caprice Gaeta at the Arts Crawl.

At the same time, over at the gym, teachers put on display objects associated with their course, like science teacher Mr. Greg Poruban with micropipettes for his Genetics and Biotechnology class, or even set up demonstrations, like Mr. Christopher Baker pumping a real sheep lung to show what to expect in his Kinesiology class. The announcement of splitting Senior English into two separate courses also took place at the fair. For upcoming seniors next year, they can choose between mythology-oriented Heroes and Monsters and Communication in Action. Previously, all departments used to make videos that showcased various course options. 

The closest thing to a curriculum fair in the past was AP Night, where different options of AP classes were presented to students and their families. But simple videos were not as engaging and intriguing as a full-blown curriculum fair. 

Head of Social Sciences Department Mr. Milton Kunz said: “Teachers thought we needed something like this to help students understand the great courses we run here. We have a number of electives that we want to highlight, like Genocide Studies and History in Your Lifetime. It’s hard to see in a little box on ClassChoice so to put a face and conversation on classes can hopefully make people more aware.” 

Many students found the curriculum fair helpful. 

Freshman Emily Wagner said, “It gives people the opportunity to look around and preview the course to see if it’s something they’re interested in.”

Freshman Brenna Lacey agreed, “It gave me a better idea about what I want to do next year.”

In the spirit of being engaging and intriguing, the music department expanded its weekly small and cozy karaoke sessions into a massive sing-along, with songs including Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA,” Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and many more. 

Juniors Milly Derbyshire and Chase Fricka singing karaoke while music teacher Mr. Charles Masters DJs.

“This event is really fun and exciting, makes me want to sing, you know?” freshman Ava Suwangonsakul commented. “It makes me want to join a music class, maybe piano. I did chorus in sixth grade, and this makes me want to join chorus.”

Junior Bryce Valentine also enjoyed the performance from the Music Department. “I sang because I love giving a show. It was really fun. I love dancing, even though I can’t even dance.”

This transparency of the curriculum fair creates a sense of confidence in the stressful time of course selection.