Students at Mt. Hebron are familiar with the required academic courses such as Biology, Algebra and Physical Education. However, many elective classes are not as well known; some are even unheard of by most students. Though seemingly obscure, these classes offer many unique opportunities to the student body. The topics discussed in these courses range from Food and Nutrition Technology to Latin to Music Theory.
Some students were willing to admit that they are intimidated by courses and perceive them as more challenging than they actually are. But Ms. Jacqueline Lopata, who has been teaching all Latin courses at Mt. Hebron for the past eight years, said, “Any student can do well in Latin. It is not only for the elite learner.”
Other teachers fear that the material taught in their courses is misunderstood. Career Research and Development (CRD) teacher Mr. Michael McCarthy explained that his class focuses on allowing students to explore what careers will suit them the best. “I think there is a misconception about the program,” he pointed out. “It is a great class that would benefit any student.”
On average, 20 to 30 students generally register for these lesser known classes, but many teachers are searching to expand their student base. But the quantity of students is by no means a measure of the quality of the class. These niche classes offer many specific skills useful in the workforce.
For those who are interested in working with children in the future, Human Growth and Development is a great course option. The class is led by Ms. Teyarnte Carter, who has instructed all Mt. Hebron Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classes for the past 10 years. The curriculum’s goal is to create a positive impact on youth and teach them fundamental skills like physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.
Similar to FACS and CRD, Latin classes provide advantages that are not so apparent at first. Ms. Lopata feels that her Latin class has helped a number of students outside her classroom. “As 60-70% of our English words have their origin in Latin, the study of Latin is a great vocabulary builder,” stated Ms. Lopata. “Many students report to me that they first begin to understand English grammar from their study of Latin.”
These classes also present many unique privileges to students. CRD students are given the chance to embark on a field trip to attend a college fair in Baltimore. Afterwards, they get a behind-the-scenes tour of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Howard Community College, alongside several other colleges, offers three credits to a student if they have earned a grade of a “B” or higher in Human Growth and Development.
These are just a few of the broad topics you can study during your time in high school. For those interested in expanding the variety of classes they sign up for next year, check out these and the other hidden gem classes Mt. Hebron has to offer.