The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders

Oh, The Choices!: What is Your Plan for Next Year Electives?

in ARS News/Fine Arts by

Ms. Amy Bryant gives instructions on filling out the choice sheet to the rising juniors during English class. Photo by Camille Pfister.

A whirlwind of choices surrounds the halls of our school, students filled with excitement and wonder around every corner. There are so many choices when the elective fair comes along in the Small Gym. For middle school, there are the classic Fine Arts: Theater, Band, Orchestra, and Choir. Once you get to high school, however, you get so many more options. You can stick with the Fine Arts, or you can join the Dance Team, the Newspaper staff, the Yearbook staff, Photojournalism, Color Guard, and many more.

Each year, there is an elective fair during lunch and advisory that allows electives to show off what makes their club unique and allows students to ask questions to students already in the elective. Some teachers may choose to host a separate meeting the following week of the elective fair before choice sheets come out. It is a time where the focus is on getting students excited for the upcoming year and what they could try out. While all electives are good electives, some of them are not as well known. What follows is a list of electives that you may not know about, and could be offered next year.

Keep in mind that teacher’s schedules move around and they might not be able to teach a course listed next year. All of these courses could be something to consider if they appear on your choice sheet, but if not a lot of students pick that elective, it may get canceled.



Teacher: Ms. Brewer

Do you love taking photos? Do you want to tell stories using your beautiful photography? If so, Photojournalism may be the class for you! Photojournalism, a class for freshman, is a fun and interactive class. This elective will teach you how to tell newsworthy stories with one single shot. Ms. Brewer teaches this wonderful course and will teach you all the tips and tricks to learning a camera and the beginnings of journalism.


Special Topics:

Teacher: Mr. Hatch

Independent! Important! Social Justice! These are just a few unique things associated with this elective. Special Topics is a class for all high schoolers and is a current event elective. Taught by newcomer Mr. Hatch, the class covers multiple topics such as immigration and migration. The class has a lot of freedom, working on projects that are passionate to the students. Mr. Hatch wants the students to take control of their own education and what they focus on.


AP Computer Science:

Teacher: Ms. Dadmehr

The class of logic, coding, and computers. AP Computer Science is a class for 10th through 12th graders, taught by math extraordinaire, Ms. Dadmehr. This class will teach you all about coding and will give you a lesson in logic based math. In addition, the class will get you AP credit if you pass the test at the end of the year. There is no prior coding knowledge required and this course will prepare you for the future. This coding based elective is a surefire way to improve your coding and logic skills while having a little bit of fun along the way.


Sports Medicine:

Teacher: Ms. Mahoney

Do you have an inkling to help people and want to learn about human anatomy? The elective of Sports Medicine just might be for you! Sports Medicine is open to 11th and 12th graders with an application and teacher recommendation. This course, while time-consuming, opens students up to a new and exciting path. In this elective, you will learn all about the body and how to treat sports injuries. During this class, you will attend sports games all over Austin and serve as a trainer. A trainer attends to players who get injured during a meet or game. It is recommended to Biomedical students, but if you’re in another pathway, you just need the excitement to learn and maybe some prior knowledge. Taught by former trainer and current Physical Education teacher, Ms. Mahoney, this course will teach you so much about the body and healing injuries, while also giving you hands-on experience.


Choices, choices, choices… there are many electives with many different paths to follow down. There is minimal choice in the classes that we can choose to spend our valuable time with, but this is one of the class slots that we get many options. So, choose wisely and enjoy the following year!


Kate Hall (10) and Chloe Hammonds (10) look over their choice sheets for 11th grade. Photo by Camille Pfister.


Sophomore Camille Pfister is a co-creative writing editor for her second year writing on the Polaris Press. Writing has always been one of her passions. At the age of eight, Camille decided to start writing short stories and her experiences in a journal and hasn’t stopped since. Her favorite activities, other than writing, are spending time with her close group of friends, working on being an ally and advocate, and learning more about the world through her peers and their experiences, as well as be there to support them. As a part of the newspaper staff, she hopes to reach a bigger audience with her writing and learn more newspaper skills. Camille also hopes to expand her writing style and broaden her view of the world by staying updated on current events and reporting about important topics. Her biggest goal for the year is to grow as a writer and help the Polaris Press improve as a newspaper and community.

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