Recommended Electives

Here at Apopka High, we have quite a few elective choices, sometimes even too many choices. Have you ever sat there wondering what elective you would take next year? Well, we’ve got some recommendations for you, all of which were recommendations from students who have taken the classes. The Blue and White asked many students and two of this school’s amazing faculty about different elective options.

The Blue and White interviewed Ms. Gardiner, who teaches Creative Writing. However, Ms. Gardiner wasn’t always the Creative Writing teacher. She states, “When I started at Apopka, there wasn’t a Creative Writing class. Each year, I asked for it to be on the schedule and finally, on my 4th year, they agreed. At this point, I have been teaching it for 6 years, and the program now includes Creative Writing 1, Creative Writing 2, and Creative Writing 3 Honors. We asked her why she thought her students liked her class, and she said, “I would like to believe that it’s a welcome change from their English classes. In English classes, there is very little room for creativity, and I think students lose the enjoyment of writing because it’s always essay after essay. We certainly learn, but I like to have fun doing so.” For our final question for Ms. Gardiner, we asked her why this class is important or valuable to the students here at Apopka, and she responded, “To start, I think it is important to stretch the imagination. This class should help you think outside of the box or show you how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Of course, we learn story elements, text types, genres, vocabulary, and some grammar, but I think the best part of the class is having the freedom to try new types of writing.”

Another teacher that was interviewed was Ms. Kelley, who is in charge of Yearbook. Yearbook is an elective where you record major events throughout the school year, which then go into our yearbook. We were interested in how long Ms. Kelley has been teaching this class, and she said, “This is my second full year, but I did 2 and a half years altogether.” While questioning Ms. Kelley, we asked her what might make her students like her class, and she said, “I think students like Yearbook because it gives them an opportunity to be involved and learn about what’s going on in the school, they also get kind of a sneak peek or a behind-the-scenes look at a lot of events or even an up-close and personal point of view, and they’re creating a tangible product that people like to look at and reminisce with.” Another question that was asked was why this class was important to her students. She responded, “This class is important because it teaches you to stick to deadlines, how to organize, and manage your time, it’s also important and valuable because it creates something for the entire school to remember what happened during the school year, a memory book.”

But it’s not just Ms. Kelley we interviewed for Yearbook, The Blue and White also interviewed three of her amazing staff members who all said this was their recommended elective. Our first interviewee was Junior Kylee Schutt. When asked why she picked this class, she responded, “It is valuable [as] we all hold a big part in the Apopka High School yearbook and we have fun while holding that responsibility…I have been taking this class since Sophomore year, and [I’m] now a junior.” The next student we interviewed is Senior Trent McDaniel. When asking Trent about why he picked this class, he said, “So I started my Sophomore year, and then I went into Journalism in [that year] and started Yearbook. I was an editor my Junior year and then I [began] to enjoy it, so she wanted me to continue to be an editor, and I really enjoyed it then. Trent went on to explain, “There was a big toss-up in the middle of [my] Junior year, where the teacher left and basically Yearbook was in shambles and Ms. Kelley was able to take on the role of being the yearbook teacher and that really changed perspectives on everyone to work hard and I really saw that as an opportunity to unite and work as one.” Our last interviewee for Yearbook was Senior Ciara Astacio. When asked about why Yearbook is her recommended elective, she said, “I started this freshmen year because I heard good things about it like High Schoolers I knew so I decided to try it out at the time it wasn’t as much Yearbook, more of learning how to do yearbook, and then I moved up my Sophomore year because I knew I would be Yearbook staff and from then it was just a great environment, a great teacher once she took over, it was an amazing year and we all just worked together and it made me happy.” According to Ciara, the reason she liked the class was that “It’s a family feel, it’s very inclusive, we love to open up to everyone and get to know everyone and their story, everyone in here is great and we have a great connection. It’s just a really nice vibe to have.”

The next student interviewed, was Sophomore Isael Labrado. When asked for his recommendation, he responded, “I would say JROTC is a really great elective to join simply because of the skills you’ll learn such as marching as one group and the new faces you’ll meet too.” The reason he picked JROTC is that “My aunt and cousin were in JROTC when they were here at Apopka,” and also because “Both teachers are not only really fun to know but they’ll also teach you how to be a leader, amazing principles, and even help you choose your future if you didn’t already have an idea for it.”

Our next recommended elective was told to us by Sophomore Kamron Singh. 

He stated that “AP Pysch is a class I would recommend taking if you’re ready to take it. It’s one of the easiest AP exams with one of the highest passing rates.” The reason he picked this class is that “This elective was interesting to take in and it allowed you to learn more about yourself and other people. It is one of the easier AP classes because it is all based on being able to put things together.” He also said that, “Anchel made the class pretty well because it wasn’t just like taking notes off of a slide, he would interact with you and that’s how you would get your notes. Being able to have a teacher that interacts with you allows you to take better notes.”

The Blue and White interviewed a Junior named Jack Carter, and he told us that his recommended elective would be Intro to Engineering. When he took this class, he had  Mr. Barrios, the former intro to engineering teacher. He stated that this was his recommended elective because, “Mr. Barrios was the best due to him giving very thoughtful, thorough, and sensical lessons each and every day. Every day I’d be excited to enter his class and learn what he had to teach us using his unorthodox but effective methods of teaching.” But that’s not all, Jack also stated that he found the class fun due to, “being instructed to build go-karts and crash them into each other.” That all seems really fun, but that’s not all for the engineering magnet.

Another student who was interviewed also recommended Intro to Engineering, and their name is Wyatt Jaggers, a Sophomore here at Apopka. At the time of him taking this class, Mr. Barrios was no longer working here, so he had our current teacher, Mr. Hutton. The reason Wyatt chose Engineering as his recommended

elective is because “It looks great for a college because it gives a student [many] opportunities to get certifications which look great for college applications.” Another reason he liked this class tied in with his teachers, to who he comments on, “How great the teachers are, in my Freshman year I had Mr. Hutton and he’s a great teacher and it’s always fun to be in his class. You also have Ms. Meyer who is a great teacher and always makes me laugh.”


These are some of the great electives here at the APK. If you have trouble finding any electives you’ll like, don’t be afraid to ask around and see with other students what electives may be fitting for you.