The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

February 6, 2014

New classes help GRA students better prepare for demands of college

AUSTINBURG TOWNSHIP — With the first half of the year over, and midterms complete, Grand River Academy starts off the second semester with new students and new classes. Students have completely new schedules, and those that signed up are participating in the newly created electives that are being offered.

In the science department, headed by Alan Kovacik, classes Generation X, organic chemistry, forensics and anatomy are being offered. Generation X, taught by first year teacher Stephen Sullivan, is a course on the application of physics and chemistry in the 21st century. It is focused primarily on green energy and its potential widespread use.

Kovacik is teaching a college-prep class, organic chemistry. He said he was inspired to teach the class when he was discussing college classes that current seniors might be taking next year. When students mentioned they were interested in pursuing degrees that required taking organic chemistry, noting how challenging these classes are and the confusion many of students face when taking classes they are not taught in most high schools, Mr. Kovacik sprang to create the class, and the next spring was teaching it in his classroom.

Several new media classes are being added to Mark Kaschak's media department as well. Videography, music history and music theory were taught last semester at Grand River; this semester, contemporary performance has been added. Contemporary performance is a music based class where students learn how to compose and create modern musical arrangements for public performance. One of the requirements for the class is that students spend time writing and fully organizing instrumental parts for modern songs.

Grant Huffman, a senior at the academy, said, “Music performance gives us the opportunity to learn and grow as musicians, bettering our song writing and performance ability.”

The class focuses on students’ songwriting just as much their performance, moving them past “jamming” to a more structured composition.

Text Only
School Columnists
  • Grand River Academy reporter GRA graduates offered thousands of dollars in college scholarships

    With the class of 2014’s graduation on May 24, seniors at Grand River Academy celebrated a 100 percent college acceptance rate. Students from many different backgrounds have had a year full of college applications, standardized testing, and periods filled with anxious waiting for college and university acceptances. Some may have applied to as few as two schools, others applied to as many as 16. Ranges of colleges include small liberal arts schools to large state schools, highly ranked universities to community colleges. While students may choose different paths to reach their goals, all have the opportunity to begin that path by attending college.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lakeside High School reporters Lakeside fund-raiser for cancer research has personal impact on those who have loved ones with the disease

    Every color of the rainbow was seen at Lakeside High School this month. The first Lakeside Loop, “Color for Cancer” took place on May 9 in honor of many special causes. Students could be seen racing around the campus, covered in various shades of powdered paint. Each participant possessed a personal story regarding his decision to take part in the event.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jefferson High School reporters Jefferson High School students join with elementary classes for Friendship Walk activities to teach healthy eating, fitness

    The second week of May marks Wellness Week for the elementary schools of Jefferson Area School District. For an entire week the elementary students put a special focus on eating healthy and getting active during the school day. The students participated in a plethora of events including walks to the high school football stadium, games and outdoor activities, and listening to speakers from the Ashtabula County Health Department, as well as a physical therapist, on nutrition and taking care of the body. To make this week even more fun, district nurse Peggy Savarese, along with the faculty of Jefferson high school and Jefferson elementary school worked together to plan an event called the Friendship Walk.

    May 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • A-Tech A-Tech students learn practical tips on managing their personal finances

    The Social Studies Department at Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus held their annual “Personal Finance Week” May 5 through 9. The week is designed to give students real-world experience in finance including their credit reports and credit score, checking and savings accounts, investment accounts and retirement savings, purchasing an automobile and obtaining a loan, the advantages and disadvantages of renting and buying a home, and obtaining a mortgage loan.

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pymatuning Valley High School Academic Boosters host breakfast for PV honors students

    Principal Dan Jackson in accordance with the Pymatuning Valley Academic Boosters hosted an annual Principal’s Breakfast to honor high academic achievement. Qualifications include being on the honor roll for the first three nine weeks, which means students must have a minimum of a 3.5 grade point average. Students must also have at least a 95 percent attendance record along with maintaining a clean discipline record. Students who meet the requirements then receive an invitation for both themselves and their parents in the mail.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • St. John School St. John seniors enjoying final days of high school

    Senior year is such a bittersweet time in one’s life. It is a huge milestone as well as a great accomplishment. There are so many things going on. As the end of the year is rapidly coming to a close, it is finally becoming surreal. The last month at school at St. John is all about the seniors.

    May 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Geneva High School Save lives by donating blood at GHS drive

    Geneva High School is giving its students and the community a chance to make a difference by giving blood today. Every two seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion, and just one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Geneva High School’s blood drives have earned it second place out of the high schools in northern Ohio for donations. This year, adviser Jessica George hopes to finally beat Sandusky High School, which has been number one for the past 10 years.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edgewood Senior High School Edgewood introduces new STEM program

    Edgewood Senior High School conducted its first ever STEM Fest on Wednesday in the Edgewood cafeteria. This “science-fair” based activity was held to introduce the new academy program that will be in effect next year. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The science and math departments conducted projects and experiments to take part in the fest.

    May 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grand Valley High School reporters State-mandated evaluations a new way for teachers to set goals, review their students' progress

    Among the several other new additions to the Grand Valley High School this year are the Student Learning Objectives, otherwise known as SLOs. Student Learning Objectives are state-mandated evaluations to determine the proficiency with which students learn the material of the course. Essentially, they are goals teachers set for their students, and at the end of the school year, they reflect how well each teacher accomplished these goals.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • Conneaut High School reporters Conneaut National Honor Society members celebrate spring with trip to the 'windy city'

    On April 25 Conneaut High School National Honor Society students ventured to Chicago. The trip was organized by NHS adviser Emily Wacker. Students returned home early in the morning on April 28. Despite the students being exhausted from the trip, they enjoyed many unique activities. Those who were not afraid of heights rode the ferris wheel at the Navy Pier and saw a spectacular view of Chicago from high in the sky. The John Hancock Observatory also provided one of the best views of Chicago and its skyline. A boat ride on Lake Michigan was also a highlight of the tour.

    May 8, 2014 2 Photos

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video