Titan Shield

Bells Could Signal Excellence for SMHS Instructors

Innovative honors humanities course garners recognition for its work with the Huntington.

Junior Carly Hittner is assisted by Ms. Pauline during class.

Junior Carly Hittner is assisted by Ms. Pauline during class.

Rakel Ang

Rakel Ang

Junior Carly Hittner is assisted by Ms. Pauline during class.

Rebekah Cohen, Editor-in-Chief

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Three Titan staff members have been recognized as finalists for an award given by a statewide educational association for their innovative collaboration with a local landmark.

Teachers Amanda Hernandez, Michelle Pauline-Bradshaw, and assistant principal Doug Berry are finalists for the Golden Bell Award, given by the California School Boards Association. The educators teach Honors Humanities and are being recognized for their partnership with the Huntington Library and Gardens.

Only 56 out of 250 districts in the state that have applied for the award were chosen as finalists. Winners of the award will be announced Oct. 31.

The last step in the process is to have a member of the California School Boards Assn. come see the program in action, and then make a final recommendation, said Lisa Hutson, coordinator of the awards.

Emily Hornberger and Alex Wang work on their projects during 5th period, humanities.

The award is given for designing and implementing the Honors Humanities course here on campus. The course, for which students are chosen by lottery, incorporates the arts, literature. Students in this course are bussed daily to the Huntington Library for the class.

The Golden Bell Award recognizes excellence, depth, and breadth of education programs, according the organizers of the award.

The teachers have worked hard since the course began three years ago, Hernandez said. By accessing the collections at the Huntington, students are able to get away from the typical classroom textbook.

“Over the last three years, the Honors Humanities Seminar has evolved into an incredible force of looking at art and at life through different lenses,” Hernandez said.

This year, the program’s students are creating self-portraits, but with one catch. They’re not allowed to portray their faces.

The exciting environment, opportunity to go off campus, and its in-depth explorations of topics keeps them engaged and ready to learn, students from the class said.

“I think the program is great at emulating a college course, since it is very independent,” senior Megan Kelly said. “I believe it has deserved the recognition it received!”

Interacting with the Huntington’s art collections at the beginning of the week, followed by conductingresearch online, and then bringing that knowledge back to the class to incorporate into their art pieces is much preferable to sitting in class all week, senior Billy Wu said.

The teachers have enjoyed the collaboration among themselves as much as the students have enjoyed the class, Hernandez said, although the focus is always on the students.

“The students who have come through the program have demonstrated insight beyond what we could have imagined,” she said.

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Bells Could Signal Excellence for SMHS Instructors