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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Students React to Annual Subject Selection

Cavaliers voice their perspectives on how to assemble class schedules fit for their preferences and plans
Fully+aware+of+their+future%2C+this+pair+of+students+openly+discuss+subject+selection.+One+student+offers+advice+while+the+other+takes+into+consideration+her+career+and+the+options+available+at+Gables.
Gianna Figueroa
Fully aware of their future, this pair of students openly discuss subject selection. One student offers advice while the other takes into consideration her career and the options available at Gables.

Coral Gables Senior High’s electives strive to provide students additional courses that further allow Cavaliers to explore their interests while building up on skills they can apply into the real world. Setting clear intentions for the future, students may choose to take classes to determine their interests and use them as a stepping stone towards their success.

On Jan. 22, anticipation rose at Gables for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year, as Cavaliers were greeted with subject selection forms during their first period. Faced with obscure choices for the future, students debated on what courses to take.

Looking beyond high school, some Cavaliers focus on their future careers through academic electives while others take the extra time to relax by investing in hobbies. With a wide selection to choose from, teachers and counselors help guide students in the right direction. In general, how do Cavaliers feel having the liberty of choosing their own classes? 

“Having the liberty of choosing my classes allows me to have a sort of freedom as to classes I am interested in, whether it be classes for fun or classes that give me the ability to be ahead for my future career, especially since I have so much room with three electives. I like the feeling of knowing I have a choice rather than being automatically put in a class I might not want or need to take,” sophomore Genesis Fernandez said.

“I think it is essential to give students the responsibility to research and inform themselves on what class they may be choosing for their upcoming year. This allows us to get a taste of what life will be like after we graduate: we will need to test our abilities and spend time debating whether or not a class is for us. Some students may believe a class might be too rigorous for their ability and they will stray away from Advanced Placement’s or Dual Enrollment classes. On the other hand, a student who believes they succeed in higher level classes will aim towards a class with students similar to them,” junior Melissa Sosa said.

“I think choosing classes is really amazing, because you can choose to learn something you’re actually interested in becoming when you’re older. I am going to take something in business as an Academy of Finance student. I think that there’s really something for everyone to choose from to enjoy,” sophomore Aimee Lagerweij said.

Magnet programs offered at Gables such as the Academy of Finance and International Baccalaureate contain standard, required courses while other academies take a different approach by granting more creative liberties. Cavaliers in these academies express how having some electives taken away in place of required courses has impacted them. 

“I honestly do not mind having to cut my electives short because the class I take is Digital Information Technology with Mr. Ball-llovera…even though I thought I would never need this class, after being in his class for a while, it has made me more knowledgeable and made me realize these are things that would help me in the future,” freshman Rachel Velez said.

“I am currently in the Design, Education and Hospitality academy at Gables. Since I chose the Architecture and Engineering pathway my required class is Engineering Design and Development. This is not only a required class for me but also one of my favorite classes. My teacher, Ms. Garcia, creates a very welcoming environment for her students to expand our creative abilities in her class when it comes to architectural design,” junior Melissa Sosa said.

Gables offers 43 advanced courses, between AP and DE classes. Cavaliers provide their input on the selection of classes and electives available to them as well as their visions and hopes for the upcoming year.

“At first, it can be a bit overwhelming, but once you take the time to look at all of them, it becomes easier. I like that Gables offers a variety of different classes to choose from, because I can choose what I like and not be limited to having to choose something I do not find interesting. For my sophomore year, my top choices are to take AP Human Geography, Introduction to Culinary and Film 1,” freshman Andrea Escobar said.

How do you plan on approaching subject selection?

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“I think it’s amazing that Gables offers such a wide variety of electives. I know a lot of other schools that do not do the same, and I am grateful that we have the diverse selection that we do. Next year, I am planning on taking AP Statistics, International Baccalaureate Executive Council and being a teacher’s aid for Mr. De Armas, so that I can have an extra class period to get my work done,” junior Naomi Galex said.

“I feel like the wide range of electives Gables has to offer gives it so that everyone has something that they would enjoy. For me personally, I would like to continue taking dance next year, because I just love to preform,” sophomore Gianna Flevaris said.

As incoming 9th graders are new to the process, they often look towards juniors and sophomores in order to gain a student’s outlook on possible electives to consider. Cavaliers from 9th, 10th and 11th grade share how the subject selection process feels to them based on their grade level and personal experience.

“As a ninth grader, being new to Gables and picking out my classes for the first time here can be pretty overwhelming and a lot to take in. We have so many options to choose from…[but] one thing that’s really helped me is definitely talking to upperclassmen and teachers for advice and reassurance on doubts I might have. I plan on picking classes that will benefit and challenge me while taking into account what I can handle,” freshman Sol Fernandez said.

“As a sophomore, I feel a little stressed about subject selection since I am choosing my classes for IB. Also, junior year is the year to start looking into college so it’s harder. Although I am a little nervous, talking to teachers and students with previous experience has helped a lot to clear the right path for me,” sophomore Adriana Munoz said.

“Being in 11th grade, I feel that subject selection is very simple for the people in my grade. Apart from the fact that we can choose more electives for senior year than any other year, the actual process of choosing said electives is fairly straightforward since this is our third time around,” junior Sophia Daly said.

Glimpse of Electives Offered at Gables
Film
Being the first assignment of the year, Cavaliers had to submit 10 black and white photos. Showcasing her creativity, this student experimented with different lighting, settings and poses. (Courtesy of Sol Fernandez)
Being the first assignment of the year, Cavaliers had to submit 10 black and white photos. Showcasing her creativity, this student experimented with different lighting, settings and poses. (Courtesy of Sol Fernandez)

Teacher: Mr. Rodriguez

In Film, Cavaliers go over scripts as groups that they each created based off certain prompts. Providing each other feed back and critiques they help one another adjust plot holes to curate an ideal script. Students enjoy watching films from all sorts of genres and directors taking the time to study camera angles, cut scenes and editing to improve upon their own skills.

Film-related careers: Film and video editor, film director, screen writer, camera operator and cinematographer.

Fashion
In fashion one, there are two major projects Cavaliers work on throughout the school year: a tote-bag that turns inside out and a pair of shorts.
In fashion one, there are two major projects Cavaliers work on throughout the school year: a tote-bag that turns inside out and a pair of shorts. (Eliem Salazar)

Teacher: Mrs. Monzon

Cavaliers in Fashion learn to develop creative thinking skills. Students are given the creative liberty of choosing their own fabric for projects, unlocking a keen eye for textures. As Cavaliers continue taking the course they move onto creating farther complex pieces of clothing that require more time and skill.

Fashion-related careers: Fashion designer, costume designer, design assistant, textile designer and film wardrobe stylist.

Anatomy and Physiology
Presenting a PowerPoint on the promethean board, Ms. Angers students take detailed notes on the lecture. Beside the board, various diagrams of the human body are present. (Courtesy of AnnMarie Reyes)
Presenting a PowerPoint on the promethean board, Ms. Anger’s students take detailed notes on the lecture. Beside the board, various diagrams of the human body are present. (Courtesy of AnnMarie Reyes)

Teacher: Ms. Anger

Mainly through visual representations such as different skeletons in her classroom and a model of the body where inside organs are seen, lectures, Kahoots, presentations, Ms. Anger presents all of the systems in the human body. Cavaliers adapt to medical vocabulary and learn knowledge crucial to the medical field.

Anatomy and Physiology related Careers: Medical doctor, physical therapist, nurse, biomedical engineer and an emergency medical responder.

 

Law Studies
Brainstorming questions for a direct examination, Mr. Garcia provides edits to his students on details to improve for their interrogations. (Courtesy of Daniela Diaz)
Brainstorming questions for a direct examination, Mr. Garcia provides edits to his students on details to improve for their interrogations. (Courtesy of Daniela Diaz)

Teacher: Mr. Garcia

Cavaliers in hopes of pursuing a career in the law department and acquiring a new set of skills find their place in Law Studies. Taught by Mr. Garcia, each quarter students decide their groups and are given a mock case, which they must  present in a trial. Being either civil or criminal, as the quarters progress, cases become more detailed.

Future Careers: Lawyer, judge, law professor, legal consultant and politician.

Ceramics
Senior, now Gables alumni Ale Toruellas finds pleasure in the masterpiece she is creating using a potters wheel and a variety of tools to assist her.
Senior, now Gables alumni Ale Toruellas finds pleasure in the masterpiece she is creating using a potters wheel and a variety of tools to assist her. (Gaby Blanco)

Teacher: Ms. Stapleton

Taking a hands-on approach, Ms. Stapleton demonstrates how to create the pottery using a potters wheel or by hand all while students shape their own designs. Once they have finalized carving out their sculptures their work is glazed adding an additional coat of paint. Cavaliers create four to five projects which upon completion can be taken home.

Ceramics-related Careers: Ceramic artist, pottery designer, pottery or ceramics instructor and ceramic manufacturer.

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About the Contributor
Gianna Figueroa, CavsConnect Staff Writer
Gianna Figueroa is a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Gables and this is her first year writing for CavsConnect. Looking for more ways to be involved at Gables, she saw CavsConnect as the perfect opportunity to do so, an opportunity to improve her writing skills. Hoping to meet new faces, engage herself in additional extracurriculars, attend more school events and create memories that will last a lifetime, she is looking forward to working for CavsConnect with the rest of the team. All of this while staying on top of her school work and managing her four Advanced Placement classes. She has a deep passion for art from a young age. Drawing, sketching and painting have been her creative outlet and have helped her all her life.  She aspires to pursue something in the arts and to have a job that will make her truly happy. In her free time, you can find her drawing, reading or spending time with her loved ones.
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