New year, new courses

Pooja Krishna and Lauren Gaubert, Editor and Reporter

Three new courses will be offered next year: a freshman seminar class, philosophy, and a leadership class.

Each of these classes will be semester-long electives.

Ms. Downs, who will teach the leadership course, taught a similar class at Rowlett High School.

“[The leadership course] is an opportunity for students to understand themselves better and to be able to lead by example in any given situation,” Downs said. “Everybody is going to need to build confidence, relationship skills, communication skills, organizational skills, and all of those things that they will use not only for their futures in college, but also in the workplace.”

The course will focus on project-based learning activities in community outreach and service.

“The whole point is to be able to teach the students to come up with their own ideas and know how to make them happen. I don’t want it to be set in stone because I want it to be student led,” Downs said. “This course wasn’t designed as a replacement for PALs. It’s something that was put in place long before that happened. We want to honor those students and the relationships that they built, but it’s not a PAL’s course, otherwise it would be called PALs.”

Mr. Knobbe, who will teach the philosophy course, describes it as a way to critically think about your own life and how fulfilling your everyday actions really are.

“It challenges you to think outside the box, to reevaluate your life, and to ask yourself, ‘Where am I going?’, ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’, and ‘Am I leading a purposeful life?’” Knobbe said

He is most looking forward to teaching students how to engage in thinking outside of the box and how to approach problems in different ways.

“Philosophy has no right or wrong path,” Knobbe said. “The whole idea is if you’re trying to get to the mountain top, most of us travel one path up there. However, you have a whole mountain full of pathways to get to the top. That’s what philosophy is trying to figure out, how many different ways can you get to the top of that mountain, in terms of thinking.”

As a philosophy major, Mr. Knobbe believes it is an important class every student needs to take at some point in their lives.

“The Catholic Church is rooted in a particular type of philosophy. The way this John Paul High School is set up is a philosophy. It’s a philosophy basis on how they believe to educate you,” Knobbe said. “Everything and every part of society is rooted in philosophy.”

The new freshman seminar is designed to help students with study skills, organizational skills, time management skills, and to facilitate the growth and the transition from 8th grade to 9th grade. It will be taught by  Ms. Downs, Mrs. Nelson and Mr. Bouchard.

For more information on the freshman seminar, see “Class of 2021 will take freshman seminar” by Mary Grace Theis.