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The Voice of Sacred Hearts Academy
Updated: 2 hours 10 min ago

K-Club members exchange with Korean college students

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:37pm

Members of the Korean Club took part in a cultural exchange with Korean college students from the Hawaii English Language Program (HELP) at the University of Hawaii (UH).

HELP aims to empower students to succeed at UH and other institutions of higher learning, “by providing exceptional English as a second language instruction.”

English teacher Gina Redilla, the coordinator for the exchange, explained the development of this event.

Redilla said, “The university could not secure enough students from the second language studies program on campus. I was in a conversation about the lack of conversation partners with the director. I mentioned the Korean Club at the Academy, and the idea developed from there.”

Sophomore Adrianne Del Rosario, the K-Club treasurer, mentioned how the exchange expanded her interest in the Korean culture.

Del Rosario said, “My experience with the Korean students was thrilling! I practiced my Korean language skills, and I was able to learn more about Korean traditions. We also talked about Korean celebrities!”

Redilla hopes that through this exchange program, Academy students will be able to expand their interests in different cultures.

Redilla said, “Exposure to a culture and its language is always a good thing. For one, it expands the knowledge and hopefully prompts the individual to learn and study more about it!”

The next exchange between K-Club members and Korean students will be held on Oct. 24.


Booster Club hosts successful golf tournament

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:09pm

The Academy’s newly formed Athletic Booster Club hosted its first golf competition at Kaneohe KIipper Golf Course on Oct. 9 with approximately 100 golfers.

Athletic Director Ryan Hogue said, “The money raised from this golf tournament benefit goes directly to Lancer athletics. It will help teams to travel to tournaments and assist the development of new facilities, including the new weight room and team meetings.”

Golfer Therese Yee, mother of Chanel, ‘18, said, “We had a lot of fun at the tournament.  The course was beautiful and we felt privileged to play there as it’s not all that easy to get an invitation.”

Hogue said, “We thank the school’s generous sponsors who made the tournament successful.”

Professional journalist speaks to journalism class

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:52pm

Rich Meiers, online news producer at Hawaii News Now, spoke to journalism students about how  to use search engines effectively and the urgency of breaking news stories.

Meiers also talked to students about optimizing the web site so that it can easily be found by search engines.

Webmaster Kristen Kate Tumacder said, “I realized the importance of enhancing our web site by using applications that improve the appearance of the site and facilitates navigation.”

Meiers also emphasized that reporters must always have story ideas and be brave enough to ask questions. He gave students tips on publicizing the online newspaper.

Reporter Celine Arnobit said,  “I learned how to write good headlines and if something is urgent, it must sound urgent in the headline and in the story. One thing that Mr. Meiers said that struck me was, ‘You decide what people know about the world.’ I don’t think that this could be any more true.”

In a hands-on exercise, Meiers gave two student teams five minutes to write a news article, produce a tweet, a Facebook post and a headline. They then reported what they had written. The exercise allowed students to work efficiently as a team.

Reporter Janelle Medrano said, “We were given an assignment to create a breaking news push alert. This activity made me realize that it is important to write efficiently and in a timely manner.”

“I learned that journalism is not just about writing but writing with urgency and purpose,” said editor Aina Katsikas.

Leo club busy with service projects

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:32am

Leo club members volunteered their services at the Oahu Heart Walk for the American Heart Association and at the Kanewai loi on Oct. 4.

The Oahu Heart Walk took place at Kapiolani Park where club volunteers assisted the Kamehameha Lions Club with health screenings. Several other Leo and Lion clubs from across the island were also at the event.

Volunteers assisted at the screening booth, advertising the free screenings and directing participants.

Students Morgan Candelo, Kalia Kawamura-Jeremiah, Victoria Lee and Alyssa Kwan helped at the Heart Walk.

The loi project took place at the University of Manoa at the Hawaiian Studies Department’s Kanewai loi. The event is open to the public on the first Saturday of every month.

Leo club adviser, Whitney Miyahira, said, “Volunteers naturally fertilized fallow loi patches with organic materials and pulled weeds from other patches.”

Junior Theresa Ginter and seniors Lindsay Visher, Dylan Purvis and Nicole Baker volunteered at the loi.

Visher said, “Working at the loi was fun but also hard work. It was nice to be surrounded by nature and help the environment. I think it’s really important to give back and this was a really good way for me to do so. I would definitely go back next month.”

Miyahira said, “Volunteering in high school creates a habit of service. When you volunteer often, it just becomes part of your nature. Those students who are active volunteers now will be more likely to continue service in their adult lives and continue to help and improve their communities. One of the biggest benefits of attending these events is also just making students aware of the various ways they can help the community.”

Student journalists attend screening at Arizona Memorial

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:25am

Student journalists had the rare opportunity to meet the author of a successful novel, “Under the Blood Red Sun,” and view an early screening of the movie based on the book.

On Sept. 19 at Pearl Harbor, Graham Salisbury, author of the awarding-winning novel, spoke to a select audience of cast, crew, family members and student journalists.

Before the viewing of “Under the Blood Red Sun,” Salisbury spoke about his novel and the process of its being made into a movie.

“I was extremely pleased by the outcome of the movie. It was thrilling to see the scenes I had in my head being portrayed in a film,” said Salisbury. “Even though some of the scenes were different, I was happy for the overall result.”

During the Sept. 20 Saturday press conference limited to students,  journalists were able to interview the author, director and cast members.

Kyler Ki Sakamoto, who portrayed Tomikazu “Tomi” Nakaji, said, “The most difficult part of being a cast member was getting my homework done on time for school. I didn’t always have time to do my homework, and I sometimes had to stay up late to finish it.

“As for racism, I would stand up against it and argue or fight back and teach them what’s right,” said Sakamoto.

For director Tim Savage, “The most difficult part was creating a way to tell the story. We had to be efficient every minute and well-prepared.”

Plans for another movie are not certain. The author and director are waiting to see how “Under the Blood Red Sun” does and then will make a decision about a second movie.

“Under the Blood Red Sun” is currently available for online distribution only. The film can be purchased or rented via the web site. It should be available in Blu-Ray or DVD shortly.

Student journalists host Hiki No

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:41am

Sacred Hearts Academy is the host school for the month of October’s Hiki No, the nation’s first statewide student network. Shows broadcast on PBS on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.

Sophomores Kailanianna Ablog, Mariko Galton and Frances Nicole Tabios are working with tech coordinator Randall Pong in creating factoids about Sacred Hearts for the upcoming program on Oct. 30.

Pong said, “Hiki No is a student-run network that travels to different schools around the state to cover what’s happening at the school and locally. Hiki No is also a chance for us to [educate] people who don’t know a lot about our school.”

The segments will feature different programs of the Academy, including robotics, sports, performing arts and the Girls Who Code Club as well as inform viewers about the rich history of Sacred Hearts and the surrounding area of Kaimuki.

The reporters are pleased to participate in this segment of Hiki No.

Tabios said, “Although it’s a lot of work, I feel privileged to be doing Hiki No because I get to inform people about our school, and it made me appreciate our school more.”

Galton learned something new.  “I thought it was a great experience to work the camera and learn the different frameworks and positions that are used to make a great video.”

Speech Club successful in first tournament

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 1:36pm

Academy high school students competed in their first non-qualifying speech tournament at Sacred Hearts on Oct. 4.

Students competed in Student Congress and program reading, two of several categories for high schoolers.

Speech club members were pleased with their results.

Academy senior Kristen Andres said, “I was surprised upon seeing the judges’ comments because half of what they said I did not expect. It was a pleasant surprise, though, because their comments offered constructive criticism to help me work on my weaknesses and capitalize on my strengths in speech and debate. I was motivated afterwards to continue practicing so I will be able to receive a better score at the next competition.”

Speech club adviser Jill Sprott agreed that the team did exceptionally well in the first tournament of the year.

“Overall, the team did really well. The first meet is usually like our warm-up for the year. I was very impressed and so were the judges. Our Congress also did really well. Summer Tsukenjo did program reading and earned some positive comments from the judges. This is the first time we’ve had a program reader read a piece for the first time and have such positive reactions,” said Sprott.

The team has two competitions in November, one for middle schoolers at Maryknoll and the other at the high school tournament at Kaiser.

Ceramics classes support project for ‘Meals on Wheels’

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:51am

The Academy’s ceramics classes are making bowls for “Meals on Wheels,”  a non-profit organization “dedicated to helping frail elders and individuals with disabilities preserve their independence at home by providing hot, nutritious meals and regular personal contact.”

Art teacher Kaycie Baltunado said, “In class, we refer to this collaboration as the ‘Empty Bowl’ project. The bowls made from this project will be sold, and the profit will go to ‘Meals on Wheels.’ Every time this event occurs, the ceramics classes make about 250 bowls.”

According to Baltunado, the empty bowl serves as a reminder that there are people in the world who don’t have anything to eat.

Senior Tabatha Magarifuji enjoyed contributing to this project.

Magarifuji said, “I am very grateful to be participating in ‘Meal on Wheels’ because it allows me to give back to people who do so much for me, especially in my own home.”

The “Meals on Wheels” event will be held next year in April in Kakaako at 445 and 449 Cooke Street and Kakaako Agora. Mid-Pacific Institute, Punahou and several other organizations on the island are also participating. This is the third year that the Academy has taken a part in the Meals on Wheels project.

Baltunado said, “I enjoy being able to take a part in this because I know that every bowl that we sell and the money made goes towards those in the community who need it.”

U.S. Senator sponsors high school internship

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 8:41am

Democrat Brian Schatz was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2012 by Gov. Neil Abercrombie after the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye. Before his current position, Schatz was a member of the state House of Representatives, the chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and most recently, the Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii.

Recently, Sen. Schatz started a high school internship program dedicated to young students looking for leadership opportunities and hands-on learning about the U.S. Senate.

Schatz is looking for 15 bright, self-motivated students from across the state of Hawaii to fill small positions in his Honolulu offices. Teens who are selected must be able to work under pressure as well as have good writing and communication skills.

Public, private and charter school students are encouraged to apply. Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA as well as access to personal email. Interns will be selected according to leadership, community involvement and life experiences.

“Of course, [interns] need to have good academic and community credentials, but I am primarily looking for motivation to be of service to others. [Schatz Seniors] was intended to engage young people meaningfully in public service,” said Schatz.

The internship,  known as Schatz Seniors, provides students with a forum to share current and relatable topics with the senator, as well as training to become leaders and advocates for their communities. Interns will find opportunities to address issues and attend special activities.

“I believe strongly in public education, from early childhood education to college. We needed help in our office in terms of research and outreach, and we feel that high school seniors can assist,” said Schatz.

The Senior Schatz program is still in its early stages, and changes may still come.

“I hope that this is the beginning of their journey in public service,” said Schatz.

‘Seussical Jr.’ premieres Nov. 7

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:36pm

The Academy fall production of “Seussical Jr.” premieres on Nov. 7 at St. Louis School’s Mamiya Theater.

Thirty-one students from the lower and high school along with 10 male performers have been rehearsing since September.

While JK-12 Academy students already have a ticket, paid for through their student fees, they must request the ticket via the code distributed in homeroom. Other tickets can be purchased through TicketMob, an online site. Seniors 62+, military and other students pay $15 a seat while adults are $20 each.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 16.

For preview night, Nov. 6,  discounted seats are available at $10. Nov. 7’s opening night reception sells for $40 each.

The Parent Organization is hosting “Seussical Snacks” at 3 p.m. at the Nov. 9 performance.

“Seussical Jr.” features the junior Broadway version with typical Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Cat in the Hat and more.

Academy supports Aloha United Way during month of October

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:25pm

October is an exciting month for Academy students with five events helping the Aloha United Way.

From Oct. 1 to 31, the lower school will be conducting its annual Coins For a Cause. Each class has the task of collecting loose change or any other coins they can gather.

The lower school student council encourages each class to create posters, keeping track of their current amount. The class which collects the highest amount will be thrown a popsicle party.

The high school will sponsor a Dress Up/Down day on Oct. 17. Students have the option to dress up or down for the contribution of three dollars.

To get the student body hyped for Halloween, the high school student council is sponsoring a door decorating contest during the week of Oct. 20 to 27 for homerooms in grades 7 to 12. Students must incorporate their Halloween concept with this year’s theme of  “Oldies but Goodies.”

Prizes will be awarded to homerooms which display the most creativity, best uses of humor, ideal use of the Oldies but Goodies theme, the best use of handmade/hand drawn elements and the greatest overall door.

After Dress Up/Down day is Unity Day on Oct. 22. Students will dress in the color orange. Participation is free. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness for anti-bullying.

A new event being introduced to the high school is the “Please Fund Me Teacher” campaign. Each homeroom is asked to donate a dollar or more to reach the schoolwide goal of two hundred dollars. If reached, the chosen teacher will be given a challenge or a dare that must be accomplished during the week of Halloween.

Also coming up is the annual Aloha United Way Snack and Bake Sale. Families are asked to donate goods to be sold on the day of the bake sale, Oct. 23. Past bake sales have proven extremely successful. Donated goods can be baked products (homemade or store-bought), packaged drinks, small bags of popcorn or trail mix, homemade jams or jellies or small bags of chips. Like the rest of the events occurring this month, all proceeds will go to the Aloha United Way.

The most anticipated event of the month comes at the end when the Academy will host Costumes For a Cause for all students on Halloween day. While the lower school will be having a costume parade, the high school will be throwing a costume contest.

Students will be competing for most creative costume, most authentic looking costume, best handmade costume, best use of the oldies but goodies theme and best group costume.

Winners will be announced during the high school Halloween pep rally, which also features division cheers and dances.

Everyone in grades JK-12 is encouraged to support Aloha United Way by dressing in a Halloween costume for the cost of three dollars.

Second graders learn about life cycles at Marine Center

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:11pm

The second grade classes took a trip to the Living Art Marine Center to learn about the life cycles of fish and participate in activities related to their science curriculum.

Second grade teacher, Jolene Yoshioka, said, “Prior to the field trip, the second graders were studying the life cycles of various animals, including turtles and butterflies. By visiting the Marine Center, students were able to learn about the life cycle of marine fish through the center’s baby fish catch and release program.”

Students participated in an interactive presentation where they had to collect and organize data in the “Baby Fish Scientist” game.

Students observed and learned about various tropical fishes.

Kamryn Nguyen said, “We learned about sea animals and how fishes protect themselves. Some fishes can spread their fins to scare off enemies, and some have special horns on their heads.”

Sadie Takakai said, “I learned how fishes and eels can camouflage themselves in the sand.”

Riko Sakai said, “I learned that fishes can give birth to 1,000 babies, but only about ten will survive.”

Students enjoyed the tide pool tanks, where they were able to look at and touch hermit crabs.

Sakai said, “I really liked the tide pool tanks. I touched the clams, hermit crabs and starfishes, and a shrimp even crawled over my hand!”

Students could also screen their own souvenir t-shirts. Teachers brought back opae ulae shrimp as new classroom pets.

Yoshioka said, “We thought the field trip was successful! The program was very educational, and we will probably schedule another visit to the Marine Center next year.”

Leos serve at Ohana of Hawaii’s Buddy Walk

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 10:07am

Nine SHA Leos spent Saturday of Fall Break in Kakaako supporting Down Syndrome Ohana of Hawaii at their annual Buddy Walk. The Leos helped to set up, clean up and assist at various booths including the shave ice and cotton candy stands. Lion Jim Bryan served as chaperone.

College Night informs students about college process

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:58am

Juniors and their parents attended the counseling department’s College Night to learn about the college application process and scholarships.

College counselor, Randy Fong, and junior counselor Annaliza Miyashiro spoke about the Naviance online site and how to applying for college and scholarships.

Miyashiro said, “The entire purpose of College Night was to let parents be familiar with Naviance. It was also to inform the students about the application process and what to do now as juniors to get ready for college.”

Fong and Miyashiro stressed the importance of grades and participating in extracurricular activities and urged students to begin setting up their personal resumes.

Junior Shayla Trinidad said, “This college meeting made me realize that college is real soon and in a matter of time I will be applying. It also made me think about my grades and motivated me to do better in these next two years.”

Junior Noelle Yamamoto learned something new. “I haven’t really thought about the urgency of setting up my personal resume, but this meeting made me realize what colleges look for, making me want to begin adding information to my resume as soon as possible.”

College night featured guest speakers, including a Jostens’ representative who gave information about rings for the Junior Ring ceremony and a parent about Project Grad.

Workshop teaches parents about teen development

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:55am

Academy parents were invited to attend a presentation by UH Professor Paul D. Deering in a workshop on teen development.

Associate professor at UH Manoa Deborah Zuercher was also a speaker at the workshop on Oct. 2.

Parents were given information on how to assist pre-teens and teenagers to communicate effectively in relationships. Deering and Zuercher spoke to attendees about adolescents’ physical and health needs. Parents  heard about the importance of psychological safety and security for pre-teens.

Junior Wei Yi Huang attended the workshop with her parents.

Huang said, “I like the idea to ‘talk with your kids’ because my parents always ignore my feelings and think I should just obey their ideas and study forever.

“We had a great time at the workshop and communicated a lot when we got home. They told me I should tell them all my feelings instead of keeping them to myself,” said Huang.

Parent Organization sponsors Christmas Gift Card fundraiser

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:45am

Proceeds of the current Christmas Gift Card Fundraiser, sponsored by the Parent Organization, will go towards capital campus improvements.

Students and parents are invited to purchase gift cards through the Academy, proceeds of which will go towards campus renovations such as the outdoor court, entry and sitting areas.

At least 10 percent of each card purchase will be donated to the Academy. The donation varies depending on the store; some stores are giving more than 10 percent.

Forms are available on Edline at They can be completed and given to students’ homeroom teachers.

Checks should be made out to the Sacred Hearts Academy SHARP Parent Organization. Credit cards will also be accepted.

The first deadline is Oct. 15. The second and third rounds will be collected on Nov. 5 and Nov. 26.

“There will be a drop box at the high school and lower school offices to turn in completed forms with payment. The lower school girls can send back their completed form and payment to their teachers,” said Mikel Raphael, chair of the Gift Card Fundraiser.

Academy court supports St. Louis homecoming

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:46am

Academy students joined brother school St. Louis in homecoming activities for the annual tradition.

The Academy supports St. Louis in celebrating homecoming with cheerleaders and members of the homecoming court. One princess is elected for each division while the queen is selected in the senior division.

The candidates must have a GPA of 2.0 and have a connection to St. Louis School.

This year’s queen, Baelle Gay, was surprised by her victory.

“I doubted myself. Everything went wrong when it could. I forgot my parent signature on the day the application was due, but that obviously didn’t stop me.”

The homecoming court attended the homecoming pep rally held during the week of Sept. 28.

Sophomore princess Dominique Almeida was happy with her role as princess.

“I loved trying on different dresses. The pep rally was already a great experience for me, especially since it was my first time doing something like this,” said Almeida.

The highlight of  homecoming week was the football game at Aloha Stadium on Oct. 3. In addition to having division princesses and a queen, Academy cheerleaders created posters for players on the Crusader team.

Junior princess Shannon Domingsil cherished the event and appreciated the opportunity she was given.

“It was actually enjoyable getting ready and dressing up to represent my division. Homecoming was a great way to experience the fun side of high school we don’t see all the time,” she said.

Gay was a little anxious during the half-time coronation.

“It was nerve-wracking walking in front of everyone, but I truly felt the moment of being queen. I was honored to have gotten the spot and didn’t have anything else to expect but the support of my family and friends,” said Gay.


Band’s first fundraiser successful

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 2:26pm

The band’s fundraiser, a car wash, ended most profitably for the band program.

“This is the first car wash that I’ve done here at Sacred Hearts and so far it’s been very successful. The ticket sales plus the donations profited over $2,000,” said band director Keith Higaki.

More than 150 cars participated at $10 per car, but the band’s many supporters also made additional donations.

JN Audi on Nimitz Highway was the site of the fundraiser, providing all needed supplies and food for participants. About 50 students and parents worked each morning and afternoon shift on Sept. 21.

Parents in the band Booster Club organized the event, one of several for the year. The club sponsors monthly Papa John’s pizza fundraisers and is planning one with Zippy’s.

“Our booster parents organize all of our fundraisers, and this is just one of the many fundraisers that we’re organizing for the students as well as to build funds for the band,” said Higaki.

The band will travel to Washington, D.C., and New York City during spring break. The fundraisers will help reduce costs for students.

Counselors attack bullying head on

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 2:21pm

School counselors are participating in a nationwide campaign to support  National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

Junior counselor Anna Miyashiro said, “We wanted to have a schoolwide initiative to promote bullying prevention skills and tools. We want students to discuss their experience and be educated. By understanding what being bullied really is, students can be advocates so that this problem can be solved.”

Counselors have activities for bullying prevention awareness, including discussions in homerooms, guidance lessons and a Fun Unity Day, in which students will be able pledge to stand up to bullies and be part of the solution to counteract bullying.

Freshman counselor Angie Dolan said, “We wanted to raise awareness and discussions. Moreover, we wanted to educate students to take a stand against bullying. We also want to build a stronger bond between students.”

Students are in favor of the efforts that counselors and teachers are making to combat bullying.

Sophomore Sophia Obando said, “It is important to bring awareness because there are people in this school who are being bullied in school every day but people don’t recognize it. Bullying can have a long-term effect on someone, so it is definitely important for teachers to discuss it with students.”

Senior Jaclyn Sakamoto said,”The Anti-Bullying Campaign is absolutely necessary and I commend the counselors for raising awareness. It’s such a relevant topic for teens today. Integrating talks on bullying in homeroom circle is probably the best way to raise awareness because it allows students to share experiences and opinions on how to deal with situations that involve bullying.”

Many students are also delighted that teachers are integrating the Anti-Bullying campaign into homeroom circles since they are able to talk about their past experiences. By discussing it, many students also find comfort.

Sophomore Kaycee Selga said, “I think it’s great that everyone is talking about it because many students don’t know how to handle the situation when they’re bullied. Discussing it in homeroom allows them to find comfort and share their experience.”

Sophomore Katherine Hennion said, “Discussing this topic in homeroom helps us to be comfortable addressing bullying and stopping it. Girls should want to come to school and have fun with their friends and learn things; they shouldn’t be afraid of being picked on by fellow classmates.”

Bullying may be an uncomfortable subject to talk about because people don’t want to admit to bullying, being a victim, or being a bystander. However, counselors’ objective is to help students to be comfortable addressing bullying and stopping it.

Miyashiro said, “Our ultimate goal is to make a school community effort and we’re definitely excited for the upcoming events. Lastly, we want to convey a message and remind students to respect, love and care for each other. Hopefully they will carry it out for the rest of their lives.”

Semester English classes challenging yet intriguing

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 2:19pm

Junior and seniors have switched to semester English courses this year, choosing from “The American Dream,” “The Art of Argument,” “Folklore and Mythology,” “Stage and Screen” or “Women and Literature.” All the classes now have a mixture of juniors and seniors.

Most students are happy with the change, but an unexpected situation came up with registration. Some students find themselves not taking any English classes this semester but with two in the spring.

Those with two English classes this semester feel overloaded with double the number of essays and assigned readings. However, those without it find themselves lacking English instruction altogether.

Senior Brytne Nicole Andrade said, “I really don’t like having these semester classes. Right now I have both of my history courses this semester and next semester I will have both English classes. It’s especially hard because I have to go in on my own time to get help with my college essays.”

Despite the challenge, students now can decide on which English courses they would like to take. Upperclassmen can take English classes based on their interests; they also have the option to take more English courses.

Advanced Placement Literature and Composition student Kauaolikokalani Arelliano said, “I like that I am preparing myself for college in AP Lit, but I like the content in my Folklore and Mythology course.”

English department chair Jill Sprott said that the changes were done to give students the opportunity to learn and read about new topics.

Sprott said that the course topics were selected through “student interest. Things that they wrote a lot about. Some people asked, ‘Can’t we study fairy tales?’ We also looked at teachers’ strengths and what they had studied.”

English teachers also did not want too many preparations, which would have happened if they had separated the two grades.

Sprott said, “We made sure that the standards were the same straight across for juniors and seniors.”

The English department hopes that because these semester classes resemble those in a college system that Academy students will benefit greatly.