New school year brings new class options

Bella Bartell, Staff Writer

Ten new classes were offered to students for the 2016-2017 school year.

“We know that job markets are constantly changing and we want to make sure that Dare County students are prepared for 21st century careers,” guidance counselor Pam Yelle said. “Last year, the students in our school were surveyed for their interest in certain career and technical pathways.  Based on those results, we were able to offer these new classes.”

Game Design

Course Description: Students in this class will learn techniques used in the electronic game industry. They will study the principles used in game design such as virtual and mathematical modeling. This class is  focused on areas related to art, history, ethics, plot development, storyboarding, and virtual games while using hands-on experiences and a variety of software.

From the Teacher: “I enjoy being able to assist students in the creation of their own unique individual games and teaching them about some of the history they likely didn’t know about before they began playing games,” Connor Butler said.

Fashion Merchandising

Course Description: Students are introduced to the fashion and merchandising industries. Students acquire transferable knowledge and skills among the concepts of the business of fashion, fashion promotion events, the evolution and movement of fashion, the fashion industry, career development, merchandising of fashion, and the selling of fashion. It has a lot of hands on activities and projects, involving both individual and group work.

From the Teacher: “After [college] graduation, I worked as a visual merchandiser for a chain of women’s apparel stores in the Richmond, Virginia area. Several years later I worked as an adjunct faculty member at J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College in their fashion merchandising department. This is when I fell in love with teaching and decided to go back to school to get my secondary teaching certification in marketing,” Mary Jo Smith said. “Now I strive to inspire other young people to love marketing and fashion merchandising.”

Adobe Visual

Course Description: This course is a project-based course that develops ICT, career, and communication skills in print and graphic design using Adobe tools. This course is aligned to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator certifications.

From the Teacher: “I like teaching Adobe Visual Design because of similar reasons as game art design, but also because it has been somewhat of a cool learning experience for me as well. I’m re-learning a lot of what the students are doing, and it’s been a neat opportunity to refresh my own skills,” Connor Butler said.

AP Government

Course Description: Students will learn about key political ideas, policies, interactions, institutions, and roles and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. While doing this they will examine politically important concepts and themes by applying disciplinary reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based argument.

Parent and Child Development

Course Description: Students will be learning about future parenting skills, current issues relating to children, as well as developmental stages, children’s health, well being and care.

From the Teacher: “I am passionate about the subject of parenting and child development because I am a parent and have worked and cared for children for children of all ages, which is closely related to my previous career as a pediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse,” Jan Gorham said.

Honors Physics

Course Description: Students will learn about Newtonian mechanics, thermodynamics, wave and energy transfer, magnetism, motion, forces, light, and electricity. This course focuses on laboratory work and problem solving. They will collect, study, and apply data using real-world application.

From the Teacher: “I enjoy teaching this class because I like to do labs and teach high schoolers about physics,” Emily DiNoto said.

Broadcast Journalism

Course Description: Students learn how to produce the daily video announcements. This class addresses writing and speaking skills, utilizes technology as a tool to accomplish a goal and not simply as a goal in itself, and gives hands-on experience in several fields which could prove valuable as students move to postsecondary education or to a career.

From the Teacher: “Hunt Thomas has done an excellent job putting together our morning video announcements in the past, and I find it exciting that we can now build on the foundation that he has created to take things to the next level,” Stephen Nichols said. “The kids have come up with great ideas for features, and we hope to highlight sports that don’t always get the spotlight, clubs and activities that are often under the radar, and students who deserve but don’t always receive recognition.”

Intro Into Culinary Arts

Course Description: Students will be taught basic safety and sanitation practice and given the opportunity to receive the Servsafe Food Safety Certification. There is a big focus on learning basic culinary math, knife skills, and cold food preparation and utilizing those skills in a lab setting.

From the Teacher: “I am really excited to teach this because it will help students become career ready!” Tara Wheeler said. “It not only gives them real world skills, but also serves as a great resume builder. There are many people that apply to work at restaurants in this area so having this certification makes them more marketable in the industry! That’s exciting!!”

AP Computer Science

Course Description: This is a class for students interested in the basics of computer science and how to code programs and games. They will work together to design, program, publish, and market their own game that they have designed. Projects and activities are used to help strengthen their grasp of the concept.

From the Teacher: “I love video games, and I have always wanted to make them. Now my students and I are getting to do that,” Mike Phelan said.


Course Description: Students will learn the basics of marketing, how companies collect information about customers, and how the companies use that information to promote their business.

From the Teacher: “I enjoy teaching this class because it’s different than any other core class that students are taking and it gives the opportunity for students to explore a real world industry,” Mike Twigg said.