School adds yearbook and graphic arts electives

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As a part of a larger effort to expand Townsend Harris High School’s selection of arts classes, both a yearbook and graphic arts elective, respectively, have been integrated into the school’s course offerings.

In explaining the addition of these courses, both taught by new art teacher Melissa Nakos, Assistant Principal of Guidance Veronica York stressed the importance of expanding the arts given THHS’ identity as a humanities-oriented school. She added that an increased student interest in digital media classes prompted the change.

Taking the role of creating the Yearbook from the now dissolved Yearbook Club, the class is now offered as an elective exclusively available to seniors. “Yearbook allows a group of students to brainstorm and look back on years to come and reminisce,” Ms. Nakos said. Everyone has a role in the class, with positions consisting of two Editors-in-Chief, a photography and art/design layout team, and editors for different sections of the yearbook. So far, the department is working on a color story along with layout design templates. With the yearbook theme already settled to be “Lighting Our Way,” Ms. Nakos hopes to create a yearbook that the senior class is proud of, but also a potentially award-winning submission to yearbook contests.

Senior Sruthi Manish, co-Editor-in-Chief for the yearbook, looks forward to “contributing to the yearbook by not just being an editor, but also by being part of numerous events and making sure that it holds memories we will all cherish in the coming future.” She described Ms. Nakos to be both understanding and knowledgeable and said, “I have already learned a lot from her but she makes sure to understand our limitations and she crafts lessons that are fun, yet informative.” 

Another new course at THHS is Graphic Design. This elective is solely offered to freshmen. “Graphic Design is a way to communicate and problem solve through visual content. This class focuses on the design elements and how to communicate and problem solve with these elements such as color theory, space, form, typography, etc.,” Ms. Nakos said. “Since graphic design is mostly digital, Adobe programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign will be frequently used. On top of this, hands-on 2D mixed media art will be created.”

Freshman Estefania Martinez, a student in the class, said, “So far the school year has been very enjoyable. The projects have been so entertaining and even more enjoyable with the light-hearted environment.” 

Photo by Kate Romero, Photography Editor