Awesome Electives To Take Before Graduation


High school is a stressful part of all our lives, but if you find a class that you’re passionate about, you’re a step closer to carving your career. Apart from the typical five core subjects —  English, Math, Science, Language, and History —  there are so many classes to explore.

“We have about fifty year-long courses,” said Academic Dean, Mr. Tuleja. “That means 50 different things to choose from.”

In an email, Director of Curriculum, Ms. Evelti told The Willistonian, “some classes have been consistently full in recent years, such as Robotics, App/Video Game Programming, Forensic Science, Digital Photography, and Digital Design.”

“Each of these classes are generally smaller than other Williston electives due to classroom or lab considerations,” she said. “Arts electives also tend to be very popular; Drawing, 2-D and 3-D Foundations, and Painting are consistently in high demand. We also see consistent interest in our History & Global Studies electives that deal with current issues such as Contemporary World Issues or Women and Gender Studies.”

“In science, we saw such growing interest in Psychology a few years back that we increased the number of sections and choices to accommodate the high percent of Williston students who choose to take one of these classes at some point in their Williston career,” Evelti added. “We have also seen increasing interest in Williston Scholars over the past few years with around fifty students enrolling in all of the classes combined last year.”

Tuleja also added that Hitler & Nazi Germany with Ms. Klumpp, and Forensics, with Ms. Kay, are popular among students. Forensics, according to senior Chelsea Clark, is an interesting break from a rigorous schedule.

“It’s just like a fun class to take, especially amidst senior year and being stressful and stuff,” Chelsea said. “It’s kind of like a class I could take to  wind down and do something I like to learn about instead of the core classes.”

Chelsea also mentioned some activities that they do in class, which students typically don’t get to experience everyday.

“At the beginning of the year we did  a crime scene analysis, that was pretty cool,” she said. “Ms. Kay set up a bunch of blood and a victim-tape body-type thing, and [we] just had to learn doing measurements, and try to figure out how the crime was done.”

Astronomy is another interesting course of study students can look into.

“For Planetary Astronomy, our focus is the solar system,” said Mr. Choo, who teaches Planetary Astronomy as well as Stellar Astronomy, both of which are open to all upper-school students. “But we also spend some time on the Nebular Theory, or ideas of how star systems form in general.”

Mr. Choo said Stellar Astronomy, as opposed to honing in just on planets, focuses on the universe beyond our solar system. The course can have the effect of showing students how small our planet is compared to the enormity of the galaxy.

“For Stellar Astronomy we move outside of the solar system,” Choo said. “How do we know so much about [the universe] in terms of [stars and planets] composition, their size, where they’re located, really give a better sense of the size and scope of our universe, how truly big it is.”

Another popular course is AP Psychology, which focuses on the study of human behavior. Bailey Schiff ’20 is a member of this class.

“I am the most interested in mental illnesses as a whole,” said Bailey. “I just kind of like how that relates because I am really interested in [being] a therapist in the future. I want to know how that all comes to play, and how it effects people in different ways. I am really excited to learn more about that.”

Bailey said she would recommend this class, especially to people interested in the study of the brain.

“It’s just an interesting science as a whole, and it’s one of those classes that will help you look at the world in a different way,” she said. “And that’s kind of a hard thing to say about a lot of classes, so I think it’s definitely really unique in that way.”

A highly-recommended class, and one that will prepare students for the rigors of college, is Williston Scholars. In this course, offered second and third trimesters, students get to research and take on a self-directed, trimester-long project with the guidance of a teacher who specializes in that field.

Williston Scholars, spearheaded by Evelti, is offered in English, Science, Language, History, and Visual and Performing Arts. Mrs. Hill is in charge of the Williston Scholars Math program.

” You learn how to research something on your own, which is crucial,” said Hill. “It’s something you really need to be able to do in college, to decide what you want to study and learn it yourself. You get to learn how to learn on your own. I think that’s what Williston Scholars is doing that is so helpful.”