Southern Lit? Philosophy? Print Making? You’ll have your choice

Thirteen new course offerings available for next year.


Ms. Sylvia Haynie, Dr. Tom Lolis will teach “Dramatic Literature as an elective in the fall

Jocelyn Tang isn’t sure which electives she will be taking next year. 

But she will have plenty to choose from photography and AP Psychology to Resistance in the Americas and Introduction to Philosophy . 

“A lot more electives this year, a lot more choices, which is good. I like the diversity of choices and that there are a lot more classes on what we are interested in,” she said. 

Dr. Tom Lolis and Ms. Sylvia Haynie will be teaching “Dramatic Literature” next year. Dr. Lolis will be teaching literary analysis while Ms. Haynie will be teaching about the performance side of dramatic literature. Students will learn how different pieces are represented on stage and how actors adjust their representation. 

Assignments include papers, tests, and performances. 

Dr. Lolis believes this class will prepare students who are going into theatre in college. 

“I think it’ll give students a lens into how colleges deal with this material because it’s not normally done with just one lens but several,” he said. 

He hopes students will be able to attack pieces with multiple lenses. 

Ms. April Bacon will be teaching a semester-long course called “Literature and Science” next year.

 In this class, students will study essays, stories, journalistic articles, comics, and poems. They will investigate the way that science captivates us and read literature that gives access to the fascinating worlds of science. They could read about topics such as the body, brain, artificial intelligence, or climate. 

Students will have the chance to pursue their own interests as well. 

“Maybe you’re interested in understanding how the aurora borealis is formed, what the butterfly effect is really all about, what the latest techniques are for attacking brain cancer, how the songs of whales evolve across time, or just how far we are from the robot uprising,” Ms. Bacon said.  “You’ll have the opportunity to explore such questions in literary, academic, or journalistic modes.”

Ms. Stuart Hubbard will be teaching a new course called “Southern Literature.” In this class, students will study Southern novels, poetry, music, and drama. They will examine the different perspectives of these works and connect them to the history of the South. 

Ms. Hubbard believes this course would help students better understand the place where they currently live. 

“My deepest hope is that by studying Southern Literature and its past, we will be better equipped to understand the present and to shape the future,” she said.

Students will be able to hear a “diversity a voices,” all of which are important, and learn a lot along the way. 

Dr. Kayla Morales will teach a new semester-long course called Resistance in the Americas that will complement the history and humanities class.

This is a discussion-based class where students will study historical and cultural texts such as letters, novels, documentaries, indigenous folklore, and protest songs. Students will focus on the “discovery” or “conquest” of the Americas from different perspectives, both from indigenous and Western perspectives as well as events such as indigenous rebellions, agricultural practices, trade, oil drilling and mining practices, civil wars, among other topics.

The course can be taken by juniors and seniors and will consist of at least six students. Readings, short texts, text fragments, and short blog posts will be part of the homework. Students will also be assessed through in-class participation, weekly blog reaction posts, oral presentation, and final project (plus mandatory midterm exam.)

There won’t be much work since most will be discussions and debates during class that require critical thinking. 

Dr. Morales originally taught the course as an undergraduate seminar at the University of Maryland. It will follow the structure of a college-level course to prepare students for their future careers. 

Ms. Kristen Stephens will teach two new semester-long art electives next year, Photography and Print-Making. Photography will be in the fall and Print will be in the spring. 

In Photography, students will learn how to work both digital and darkroom photography. They will learn the basics, functions, how to take a photo, develop it, and print it with a 35 mm camera. The Print-Making elective only requires little drawing ability and provides insights on different types of creative drawing methods such as relief printmaking, linocut, woodcut, etching, silkscreen, monotype, and fresh printing. 

“It is a lost art, very different from digital photography.” 

In Darkroom Photography, students will learn the different process that comes to film; once they learn it, they’ll understand everything else. Print-making is also a similar process and it’s lots of fun and creativity. 

Any student can take these electives. Photography is limited to up to eight students and Print Making is limited to up to 18 students.

There will be homework and rubrics, yet most of the work will take place during class. “Print-making is a passion of mine that I do in my own practice, and photography as well.”

For the first time, there will be specialized journalism classes. There will be a sports writing class, a broadcasting class, two general journalism classes, and a community journalism class. Two general journalism courses also will be available.


“Philosophy as such always looks inward at a person’s self and outward at a person’s world… If students want to become more thoughtful, more introspective, and more in love with learning and discovery, Philosophy is a class for them.” 

Intro to Philosophy is a one-semester class taught by Mr. Earle for juniors and seniors; however, if a sophomore is really interested and has already taken Geometry, they can take it. 

The upcoming school year will be the first time he teaches the class, which is based on classes he student-taught at Mercer University.

There will most likely be just one class with at least six students and up to twelve. 

The class is divided into two parts: lecture and seminar. Students will receive lectures with historical context and further ideas will be explained. During seminars, students will discuss their own analysis and interpretation of the texts they read. Students will look and think about questions such as, “Why am I in the world?” “Who am I?” and “What am I in relation to others?” Moreover, students will be encouraged to cultivate a love of wisdom by asking questions such as, “What is philosophy?” “What is a human being?” and  “What is God?”

Each question can be understood in various ways, both personally and academically. Instead of just saying opinions or assertions, students will learn how to read a text with close attention to understand the author’s message as well as the mysteries within their ideas and writings. 

The three main questions they will learn how to answer for a philosophical text are “What does it say?” “What does it mean?” and “What does it matter?”

This new course will also encourage students to become more articulate, better speakers, better readers, and better thinkers according to Mr.Earle. 

They will also be able to understand important ideas that have governed and preserved Western society since the beginning. 

Students will be assessed based on their discussion participation during seminars, mock trials, and their ability to share their ideas thoroughly and persuasively on essays and quizzes.

If students understand the discussions and texts, they will be successful in this class.