The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Teachers Pitch Electives


Course selection day has rolled in at Tompkins High School, and as each student receives a copy of the course catalog, many ponder the same question: What class can I take that will benefit him or herself in the future? Others flip through the booklet wondering what classes just scream ‘pick me’, whereas many are completely clueless as to what they want to do for yet another year of high school. Here are some of the teachers at Tompkins who just so happen to teach an elective course one might benefit from in the future.

Diana Franklin
Class: Spanish for Spanish Speakers
“The students unite and bond through this class by building a relationship of motivation and support, and eventually every student feels as if they are a part of a big family. A lot of the students in my classes have big dreams and want to be someone in life. Taking this AP course will not only raise their GPA, but will also give them an opportunity to receive credit at college. Most of the students in this course already speak Spanish, however, if you have an interest in improving the language, this class is the key to do it.”

Robert Sanders
Class: Teen Leadership
“Teen Leadership has the potential to be the most valuable class you take at Tompkins High School. Success in the real world is not based on how much knowledge you can cram into your brain, but rather your success has much more to do with how you interact with other human beings. That is the goal of Teen Leadership, to empower students to use interpersonal skills to lead and understand other people.”

Stephanie Chronister
Class: Forensics
“In my class we cover everything that has to do with the CSI, from criminal psychology all the way to how the crime is committed and how someone would investigate it. We learn about court cases, and famous criminals as well.”

Juli Ruopp
Class: Medical Terminology, Principles of Health Science, and Health Science Theory
“My content area is for students interested in any career in healthcare. If a student thinks a medical career is something he or she may enjoy, I recommend enrolling in this pathway of courses.”

Amanda Sandlin
Class: AP Psychology
“Students are always talking about not getting enough classes that teach you about how to cope in the ‘real world’. The beauty of AP Psychology is that it is about as real as it gets- we make real life connections and examples to everything. We learn how to become better students, understand differences in people and situations, build healthy relationships, problem solving techniques and to recognize our full potential. Every day is different- you never know what to expect when walking through the door. I work really hard to keep the lessons relevant and exciting. I want students to really be engaged while working hands on with the material. While learning about ourselves and others, we manage to get enough content in to earn college credit after the AP test in May.”

Monica Birtwistle
Class: AP European History
“Are you interested in European History? Did you feel that World History didn’t focus enough on Europe? Do you want to know about Henry VIII and his 6 wives? Do you want to learn about why Paris looks the way it does? Do you want to go in-depth about War I and II? Do you just love history? These are the things to consider about taking AP European History. We start with the Renaissance and go to the present-day. No AP experience required.”

Shetye Cypher
Class: Journalism
“Journalism is a great class to take to sharpen your writing skills and to move on to the Magazine or Yearbook staffs. You can also letter in it and it looks good on college applications. Learn to write history’s first draft.”

Marni Wishart
Class: Digital Art and Animation
“Thinking of a career as an animator, graphic designer, illustrator, or web/user experience designer? Digital Art and Animation is a great fit for students who love to draw, who are creative, who are interested in learning Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Animate, and who are not afraid to try new things and work hard. No prior experience is needed for the Intro level course, but having a background developing traditional art skills is best. The intro course also prepares students for the advanced level course, where they design independent projects and prepare for professional certification in Adobe Software.”

Margaret Rodriguez
Class: Theatre
“Do you like to have fun while learning? Take theatre. You can also get your speech credit as well as a fine arts credit.”

Mckenzie Grimm
Class: Ceramics
“This course involves hands on techniques, critical thinking for creative purposes, and it is also very therapeutic to actually use your hands to create something, as it’s very relaxing.”

Rosemary Fortenberry
Class: Dance
“If you like to dance or would like to learn more about different dance styles…then you should be taking Dance at Tompkins. Within our dance class you will learn everything from Ballet to Hip Hop. There are multiple performance opportunities as well as just getting to de-stress from the everyday school load. Also, Dance counts as a fine art or a P.E. credit, whichever you are needing.”

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