by Sarah Perez
Course selection during the year can be a stressful experience for students. For administration, the creation of these courses can also be a very delicate process. Cancelations and additions of classes can occur in the blink of an eye as the needs of the students enrolled change. Because of this, students might get to experience new opportunities for classes every year.
This idea was reflected in the addition of three new courses for the 2019-2020 school year at West Broward. This year’s new classes are Peer Counseling, 3D Studio Art and Physical Science. With Bobcats aware of these classes since last year, those enrolled can gain new experiences in fields that they are interested in.
“I feel like it’s my duty as a teacher to be a difference-maker and I want to do that in any way that I am able,” said psychology teacher Gina Cunicelli-Carlton. “It’s even more beneficial if I can show students how they can be the difference makers themselves.”
Peer Counseling helps students build a platform for other students who are seeking assistance. The addition of Peer Counseling was a suggestion made by Principal Brad Fatout, who asked Carlton to teach the class. As a result, the organization of the first Peer Counseling class was established.
“I asked Carlton to teach the class due to her background in psychology and social science,” Fatout said. “She said it was a great idea and ran with it.”
Students were immediately drawn to the class with the opportunities it gives to help others and to make a positive impact at the school. Although the year has just begun and most classes are not developed enough to provide a thorough overview of the course, Peer Counseling students are engrossed in the future effects that the class may have.
“This class can give our peers the opportunity to seek help with any of their classes they may be struggling with,” said senior and team leader Cheyanna Flores. “We hope to be a place where students feel comfortable talking about anything they may be going through.”
While some students enjoy helping people, others like to express themselves through art. 3-D Studio Art has also become a new addition to the bunch. The class is taught by art teacher Viviana Lopez, who had recently joined last year. 3-D Studio Art involves learning how to combine different 3-dimensional materials — notably clay, wood and plaster — to create works of art. Many are excited about the hands-on approach this class can provide and what they will create throughout the year.
“This class gives me a creative outlet and a bit of relief from the hectic schedule of highschool and major current events in the news,” said sophomore Amanda Espendez. “I am a visual learner so it seemed like a good class to take.”
As well as new ways to express themselves, West Broward is providing students with opportunities for a wider variety of science courses. Another class that can be taken is Physical Science. The course is taught by chemistry and marine science teacher Dwight Marshalleck alongside chemistry teacher Amina Mohammed, who had taught Physical Science in the past at a middle school level. This course combines the introduction of both chemistry and physics and serves as a sample course for students who are ambivalent about what science to take. Physical Science can be used as a stepping stone for students who are fascinated by the subject and want to pursue it in the future.
“The goal for this class is to get students who aren’t exactly interested in science to get a little taste of chemistry and a little taste of physics and then figure out which one they prefer,” Mohammed said. “Hopefully, next year, they can focus on either taking the full chemistry course or the full physics course.”
Providing students with new opportunities by adding a larger variety of classes is very important to the student body’s development. The course selections continue to change and evolve, prioritizing the interests of students enrolled. Overall, the new classes will be the causes of great things to come this year.
“Honestly, it’s super important that we introduce new classes to the student body,” Flores said. “I hope as a class we can try and make our mark this year and continue the course for years after I graduate.”