High School Elective Overview: The Distinguished Scholars Program, The Engineering and Manufacturing Program, Photography, and German


Photo Courtesy of Christine Collins.

Choosing high school electives as a freshman can be confusing. Will the course be challenging? Exciting? Interesting? The Distinguished Scholars and the Engineering and Manufacturing programs at Esperanza High School, and the photography and the German language courses at Yorba Linda High School may just be the right fit for many incoming freshman.

The Distinguished Scholars program offered at Esperanza is coordinated by Meghann Lukach, the Esperanza activities director. The Distinguished Scholars program is Esperanza’s highest academic program. To be part of the program, students to complete certain courses on a checklist and maintain a certain GPA to be part of the program. Each year, an academic luncheon with awards will be held for students who are on track to graduate with the Distinguished Scholars program.

If students complete the program in their senior year, they will sit in the front at Graduation, wear a gold gown instead of a cardinal, and also get a Distinguished Scholar diploma. “This is a very rigorous and challenging academic program. Only about 7% of graduating seniors graduate with these high honors,” stated Meghann Lukach.

The Engineering and Manufacturing program offered at Esperanza is coordinated by Phillip Ureno. “Engineering and Manufacturing is the backbone of America,” stated Phillip Ureno. “There is a high demand for people to Design things (Engineering) and for people to Make the things that were designed (Manufacturing). Everyone has an idea of some sort that will make life a bit easier. Everything from a toothbrush to a rocket have been Engineered and Manufactured,” added Ureno.

Students who like to build things and to use their hands to create should sign up for this class.There are many different classes under the category of Engineering and Manufacturing at EHS, (Engineering Technology Class, ROP Welding [and Manufacturing] Class, Advanced ROP Welding [and Manufacturing] Class, Engineering Drawing CAD/CAM Class, Advanced Engineering CAD/CAM Class). Each of these classes has different activities and assignments that take place in them.

At this time, there are very few prerequisites to get into Engineering and Manufacturing at EHS. In order to take Advanced ROP Welding [and Manufacturing] Class or Advanced Engineering CAD/CAM Class), you must first take ROP Welding [and Manufacturing] Class or Engineering Drawing CAD/CAM Class.

The Photography course offered by Yorba Linda High School is taught by Richard Cadra. “In today’s society everyone takes photos documenting their daily lives and shares them on various social media platforms,” Richard Cadra said. Rather than having simple snapshots of pictures, taking Photography at YLHS will teach students to take better photos and really capture the art that is photography.

In this class, students will learn to use DSLR cameras as well as complete some assignments in a darkroom with film. “We often go outside and learn how to use the equipment by taking photos of the architecture and nature around campus as well as photos of fellow students,” Cadra added. There are no prerequisites to get into photography.

The German language class at Yorba Linda High School is taught by Christine Collins. “German at YLHS is really fun, we learn to speak German, play a lot of games and homework comes in small amounts, just enough to reinforce what was learned in class,” stated Christine Collins. The German classes go on field trips, host German exchange students, have pretzel days, do Easter egg hunts, fly paper airplanes, do art, color, they cook and bake, watch German programs and movies, and have German club meetings.

Also, during class, a lot of modern music is played, and there is a “band of the month.” “We also fly to Germany every other year and attend other local German themed events. Of course we do read, write, speak and do online activities. Students need to have a C or higher in English to enroll in German,” continued Collins.