Panther Perspectives

If you could create a new class at Starr’s Mill, what would it be?

Math teacher Derek Abrams

I would love to have a glass-blowing class. I watched a glass-blowing show and I think it would be very inspirational for our students.

History teacher Joseph Bara

The history of the world through food.

English teacher Lela Crowder

If I could create a class for SMHS it would be Global Connections.  I think it’s a real mistake that kids are taught subjects in isolation.  I’d create a class where students got to study art, music, history, science, literature as a combination of connections.  That way, students would be more prepared to encounter the world around them.

Math teacher Nic Castagna

I’ve always thought about a personal finance class. Getting kids prepared for having to make college loan decisions, budgeting, investments, just financial literacy. It would’ve been really useful if I had that, but I didn’t, so I think it would be cool to do that.

Psychology teacher Sean Hickey

I would love to do the psychology of the “Lord of the Rings.” I think it’d be a fascinating class to talk about what motivates all of the different characters and the different themes in the book. There’s so much there. It would be an excellent learning tool for students of all kinds of generations.

History teacher Susan King

I would love to do a “History through…” different kinds of media – so maybe a History through Movies class or a History through Novels class.  I would also love to do an African American post-Diaspora class, which would cover the African American experience in America after the Trans-Atlantic trade.  Lastly, I don’t know who would teach it, but I think some kind of self-advocacy and self-care class would be incredibly helpful, where students learn everything from time management to stress management to awareness of mental health issues.

Choral director John Odom 

A class in time management. So many students, when they get to Starr’s Mill, have trouble balancing their academics, extra-curriculars, and performances, so a class in time management.

Spanish teacher Marcela Sample

Manners, or something related to that. At home it’s not always taught, so the basics of how to behave in a group.

English teacher Whitney Shoemaker

I think we need to do a writer’s workshop thing, because a lot of students are amazing writers and need to focus on that.”

Guidance counselor Shellie Edwards

I would create a transition into high school class for all freshmen…I’ve seen [this class] come across on transcripts… and I think this would help students adapt. 

Assistant principal Brandi Meeks

I would create a finance class, like daily life, checkbooks, taxes. It’s not necessarily fun stuff, but it’s stuff that would take you far.

Principal Allen Leonard

One of the cool parts of my job is that I do get to create classes…going forward one thing I would love to see us be able to do is to continue the growth in our aviation program to include aviation maintenance.