Staff Editorial: Recommendations for Students During Course Registration


That time of year has arrived once again: course registration. For students preparing to make next year’s course selections, sifting through the mountain of resources can be daunting and tedious. The Satellite staff is here to save your time with another trusty course recommendation list and recommends readers add their suggestions in the comments.

English Courses

Journalism- Ashlyn Jacobs

Although this class is open to all grades, I especially recommend it to seniors, since it satisfies the Composition 12 credit requirement. This class provides a refreshing twist on the traditional senior writing class, incorporating photography, graphic design, and journalistic writing into its curriculum, and the engaging assignments center on real happenings around the high school. Students of journalism seize the opportunity to use their voice with news stories, editorials and other projects published on the Satellite.

Creative Writing 

Lukas Schmerse: Everyone has stories to tell. Not everyone has the discipline to tell them, without someone to sit them down and help them along their way. Creative Writing offers the chance for students to explore writing more freely, opening a can of possibility. Students in Creative Writing will engage with prompts and assignments that allow them to explore all kinds of medium–prose, poetry, script-writing and more — and give them the keys to any genre they wish to write in. Whether you know writing to be the way you best express yourself or just want a break from writing essays about books you never wanted to read, Mrs. Drake creates a caring, collaborative, and fun environment that allows any student to turn their ideas into art.

AP English Language and Composition 11 – Frank Whiting

If there is ever a class that will support skills that will help you through the rest of your academic career, that would have to be AP Lang. 11. While the idea of studying rhetoric may not be interesting to most, it bears irreplaceable skills to make any other writing class so much easier. I will put it straight, out of the many English classes I have taken, this is not my favorite, but it has definitely taught me the most. 

Science Courses

Chem-Study- Elaina Plankey

I was incredibly nervous for Chem Study as I heard previously that it was a challenging course. I decided to give it a try, and I don’t regret the decision at all. The class’s format and progression is logical and works really well for me. The labs and the worksheets progress from each other, making the learning continuous. 

Biotechnology- Abi Wise

If you have been on any podcast platform, I guarantee you have encountered at least one true crime podcast. Recently, they have taken pop culture by storm, examining evidence, forensic science, and even the psychology behind criminals. If you find any of that interesting, I assure you that Biotechnology, or Biotech as it is commonly called, is a class you will adore. Mrs. Brown does an outstanding job of teaching the most common forensic evidence, plus how to use it to catch a killer. She makes sure all the skills learned are ones that will prepare you for college level labs and are still in practice in actual crime labs today. Whether you want to go into a science field or not, Biotech is a super fun, hands-on class that anyone will love.

Chem 105 – Olly Dungan

I will not put it lightly: Chem 105 is a challenging class. I would, however, highly recommend it for students who seek a degree in a STEM field, especially a degree that will involve multiple semesters of college chemistry. Chem 105 is a general education college chemistry course that can be taken through the high school for CAPP credit, for half the price as it would to take the class at the collegiate level.  It is only one high school semester, but it yields five hours of college credit. A passing grade in this class can eliminate the need for the student to take a first-year general chemistry class in their freshman year of college. The class covers both laboratory and theoretical topics, such as thermodynamics, organic chemistry, and atomic theory. Even with its challenges and advanced content, Mrs. Dorner, the class’s instructor, provides ample support and practice. Those who are interested in science and chemistry can be successful in this class. 

Human Bio – Will Ranger

Human Bio is a wonderful class that any student interested in either the field of biology or a future in medicine should consider taking. The class itself is relatively easy, and involves many labs and activities that not only further your knowledge of the human body, but also help you understand the functions that your own body carries out. The class is also somewhat student-led, as the students collectively select what systems of the body the class would focus on. Dissections are also commonplace, so it is not a class for those of the faint of heart. Plus, the class involves a chance to visit a cadaver lab and get to see and touch the organs of the body. Mr. Schettle teaches the class, and he makes the material even more interesting with his stories of various experiences in the medical field.  

Social Studies Courses

APUSH- Robert Barthell

The two AP history classes I have taken, including AP U.S. History, were two that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Examining hundreds of years’ worth of events, people, and places, you gain a thorough understanding of it all, incorporating many perspectives, improving your ability to think critically (like a historian), and learning how to write entire essays in one sitting.  Best of all, you can leave your friends dumbfounded by spewing all the cool stuff you learn.

AP World History- Adriana Laughrin

I took this course my freshman year, and it is a great option for students looking into AP courses. The content is thematic as opposed to memorizing small details, and Mr. Thiede does a great job teaching how to take the end-of-the-year exam. Students learn how to respond to free response questions that other AP exams require, and the way it is taught in this course has helped me do well in other AP classes.

Adv. Modern World History – Gavin McClowry

Adv. Modern World History is a fantastic first advanced class. It’s only a semester-long class, and is the perfect level of difficulty: you are still challenged but never feel like you’re drowning in information. Not only that, but it is an interesting class. You get to learn about the two World Wars, genocides, blood diamonds, and several other events and concepts of the past 100 years. You get to watch several movies, as well as complete several projects. Adv. Modern World History was also a class I was excited to go to, and gave me a practical knowledge of recent world history.

AP US Government and Politics – George Eastman-Kiesow

For students looking to take higher level courses, this class is a great place to start. Only one semester, this class allows students to worry less about their year. Unlike some other AP history classes, AP Gov. has a lesser amount of homework, making it manageable for less experienced or busy students. With amazing teachers and an interesting class, AP Gov. is a great place to start for students looking to ramp up their education.

AP Human Geography- Lauren Sturgell

AP Human Geography is one of my favorite classes this year. If you’re anything like me, you might be a little skeptical—looking at dusty old maps does not sound like the most interesting way to spend a semester. However, APHUG (yes, it is a cheesy acronym) is anything but boring. Students learn about, as the name suggests, the human aspects of demographics and borders, making the class almost more of a study in sociology than geography. Furthermore, APHUG is a great first AP class to take, as the content is not overly challenging. Plus, Mr. Thiede’s guidance makes preparing for the AP test easy and fun.

AP Psychology

Sophia Henning: I would highly recommend AP Psychology as it is an interesting class that dives into studying our behavior and mental processes, as well as how it impacts many aspects of our lives. Despite it being an AP class, the subjects and topics leave you wanting to learn more. Mrs. Severson does an amazing job teaching the material in a way that students can both understand and enjoy as they are engaged when learning psychology concepts. Mrs. Severson’s AP Psychology course has inspired many students to pursue a degree and a career in psychology.

Art Courses

Interior Design – Allie Galligan

Interior design helps you develop skills like creativity and working with others. This class was fun to take because I was able to learn new concepts about design and how to plan the interior of a home. Taking this class provides insight on how to prepare for the future when buying a house as well as how to be smart with money when designing a home. 

Drawing & Painting I and II- Nate Jahner

Drawing & Painting is a fun class for anyone who is even slightly interested in art. The level one class focuses on how to implement one medium or technique at a time, and as long as you follow the project guidelines, you can create to your heart’s desire. Conversely, in the level two class, a prompt provides the basis for a project and you can choose your medium.

Graphic Design I and II – Amanda Pierron

Graphic Design is a unique art class for people with all levels of skill in art! It goes over the basics, but is almost completely digital, which differs from other art classes. You get to learn programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, which come in handy in situations outside of school. The projects are also super interesting! You get to design an entire brand (logo, packaging, slogans, etc.) and market an album release for a band or artist. It is one art class at NHS that stands out from the rest.

Glass and Creative Forms – Anna Jamroz 

Fulfilling an art credit can present a daunting task as art may not be your first choice. However, I would like everyone to consider Glass and Creative Forms. This class offers a diverse learning style; students are able to create art pieces of fibers, mosaics, glass, printmaking and much more. This class also allows students to fully immerse themselves in creativity and explore their interests and talents in the classroom. If you take this class you will not be disappointed and you will fall in love with art. Whether it is learning your favorite color, finding a new hobby or just finding relaxation in art, I highly recommend this class. 

Engineering & Tech Ed Courses

Digital Electronics- Elaina Plankey

Digital Electronics (DE) is the third class following the typical Mechanics and Engineering (ME) Academy path- and I have heard nothing but good things previously, and I am continuing that trend. Not only is the classwork fun, but it is taught in an easy-to-comprehend way. I walk into class fully prepared to learn something I had no clue about before, and I walk away with true understanding of the material. It is hands-on, and the structure of the class has been perfected. If engineering strikes your fancy at all, I recommend the ME Academy – and I absolutely recommend this class. 

Home Improvement- Isaiah

It is important to know how to do things around your home. You may not have someone in your life who can teach you how to fix an outlet, or patch drywall. This class teaches you important skills that will help you throughout your whole life.

Introduction to Engineering Design – Cole Tauscher

IED is a hands-on class which teaches you how to problem solve and design/model those solutions. This interactive class provides you plenty of time to complete work, so you never feel rushed and you can work at your own pace. There are also many classes after IED that follow the same hands-on problem solving format, so take IED sooner rather than later so you have more opportunities to take these skill-building classes in the future.

Other Courses

Department Assistant- Lauren Sturgell

Being a department assistant is a little-known, far-overlooked way to earn credit while simultaneously making your favorite teacher’s life a little easier. Students forfeit a tutorial or release to be a department assistant, which entails helping a teacher of his or her choice with whatever task the teacher might request. A department assistant for the music department, for instance, may help copy music or even lead sectionals. The only prerequisites to becoming a department assistant are being in good academic standing and having a teacher’s permission. If this sounds interesting to you, ask your teacher to help you get the paperwork started.

Independent study- Ashlyn Jacobs

Do not see the class you want in the course catalog? Seeking an opportunity to learn something that interests you? You can design your own course. As the name implies, an independent study requires a certain level of autonomy and ownership. You can choose to follow an online course, self-study for an AP exam, or even create your own unique curriculum. For example, I organized a “Novel-Writing” independent study in which I write a chapter of a book each week and compile relevant research. I would highly recommend it. All you need for an independent study is a plan, a teacher “sponsor,” and department chair approval, and you can start by asking your guidance counselor for the necessary paperwork. 

Adventure Education Leadership- Abi Wise

Personally, I am not a P.E class enthusiast. This class, however, was something I looked forward to everyday. Adventure Ed. is not your typical P.E. class: instead of basketball, volleyball, and badminton, this class has kayaking, team building activities, and rock climbing. Through the semester, the class develops a bond through both team building activities and belaying those who are climbing. All of the activities are “challenge by choice,” meaning you do not have to be the best kayaker or rock climber, but should challenge yourself in a way that is comfortable and satisfying to you. The unique combination of leadership with physical fitness never bored me. If you are looking for a P.E. class that is out of the ordinary, definitely give Adventure Education Leadership a try.

Health Careers I – Lily Heidorn

This class is excellent for those interested in entering the health field — and it is available to all grades. The focus of the class is less on learning things you’d need to know on the job (though there are frequent studies on medical prefixes and suffixes,) but more on what those careers are and what you might be interested in. The biggest feature of the class is a mandatory job shadow that encourages students to not only study their dream job but to live through a day in the life to get a better understanding of what their work environment would be like.

Thanks for exploring the options and considering the advice shared.  Good luck as you hone your choices and create positive memories, learn and grow!