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.