Career Studies Courses & Faculty


Below are descriptions of the career studies courses offered at Elm Middle School during 2020-21. The faculty members who teach these classes are drawn from most of Elm's academic departments. To see a listing of the career studies faculty, please click here or scroll down.

Our students help determine which career studies courses are offered each year. They take a survey toward the beginning of Trimester 2. The results of this survey help guide our selection of classes for the following year.

Please note that career studies courses are 30-minute, 12-week-long pass/fail classes that expose students to multiple career pathways. Students take one career studies class each trimester, or three per year. The goal is for students to gain a wide exposure to possible career fields in 6th and 7th grade, and then to begin narrowing their focus in 8th grade.


Courses


BUSINESS

Grade Level: 6-8

Course description on the way!


CREATIVE WRITING

Grade Level: 6-8

For many hundreds of years, literature has been one of the most important human art forms. It allows us to give voice to our emotions, create imaginary worlds, express ideas and escape the confines of material reality. Through creative writing, we can come to better understand ourselves and our world. This course can provide you with a solid grounding in the writing process, from finding inspiration to building a basic story. Then, when you are ready to go beyond the basics, learn more complicated literary techniques to create strange hybrid forms of poetry and prose. By the end of this course, you can better discover your creative thoughts and turn those ideas into fully realized pieces of creative writing.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Grade Level: 6-8

What does it really take to own your own business? Does the sound of being your own boss make you feel excited or anxious? Either way, this course will get you started in the right direction. It explains the ins and outs of starting your own business, giving you the confidence needed to be your very own boss. You will discover what is needed to operate a personal business from creating a plan, generating financing and pricing products to marketing services and managing employees. If you've ever dreamed of being a true entrepreneur but feel daunted by the prospect, this is your chance to learn all you need to know.


GAME DESIGN

Grade Level: 6-8

We all love to play video games — but have you ever wanted to build your own? If you are interested in a career in technology but also want a creative outlet, game design might be the field for you. Learn how to build a game from the ground up in this interactive and hands-on course, which will teach you all the ins and outs of making your own game. You will learn the importance of game structure and discover what makes a game fun, challenging and interesting to players just like you. You will also have the opportunity to explore the design and creative process involved in game creation, learn block-based programs, and experiment with character and story development. As a bonus, you will leave the course with a digital portfolio of everything.


HOSPITALITY & TOURISM

Grade Level: 6-8

Think about the best travel location you’ve ever heard about. Now imagine working there in the 21st century, when travel is more exciting than ever, with people traversing the globe in growing numbers. This course, Hospitality and Tourism 1: Traveling the Globe, will introduce you to a thriving industry that caters to the needs of travelers through managing hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, resorts, theme parks and any other kind of hospitality you can imagine. Operating busy tourist locations, creating marketing around the world of leisure and travel, spotting trends and planning tasteful events are just a few of the key aspects you will explore in the course as you locate your own career niche in this exciting field.


PSYCHOLOGY

Grade Level: 6-8

Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Have you asked yourself if self-knowledge is the key to self-improvement? Are you interested in how behavior changes as we age? Psychology can give you the answers. In this course, Personal Psychology 1: The Road to Self-Discovery, you will trace the development of personality and behavior from infancy through adulthood. You will learn more about perception and consciousness and better understand the role of sensation. Ready to explore the world of human behavior? Come explore all that psychology can offer to truly understand the human experience.


SOCIOLOGY

Grade Level: 6-8

Human beings are complex creatures; however, when they interact and begin to form relationships and societies, things become even more complicated. Are we more likely to act differently in a group than we will when we're alone? How do we learn how to be “human”? Sometimes it can feel as if there are more questions than answers. This course seeks to answer these questions and many more as it explores culture, group behavior and societal institutions, and how they affect human behavior. You'll learn how social beliefs form and how this shapes our lives. How does this happen? Join us and find out!


Faculty | Business


Laura Laux

Teacher | Math | Elm

Eileen McNichols

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Angelo Tsagalis

Teacher | Kinetic Wellness | Elm


Faculty | Creative Writing


Elena Bartolomei

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

Ms. Bartolomei is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

Matthew Bultas

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Kathy Fuentes

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

  • sites.google.com/epcusd401.org/fuentesk/home (opens in new window)

Molly Hong

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

Ms. Hong is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

  • sites.google.com/epcusd401.org/mshong/home?pli=1&authuser=1 (opens in new window)

Sarah Rippe

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

Ms. Rippe is a National Board Certified Teacher and a Google Certified Educator,...

Rikki Schullo

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Michelle Thibodeau

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Katie Woods

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm


Faculty | Entrepreneurship


Nicole Fiorito

Teacher | Math | Elm

Ms. Fiorito is a Google Certified Educator, Levels 1 & 2.

  • sites.google.com/epcusd401.org/mrsfioritoswebsite/home (opens in new window)

Joseph Furst

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Alyson Garman

Teacher | Math | Elm

Molly Hong

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

Ms. Hong is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

  • sites.google.com/epcusd401.org/mshong/home?pli=1&authuser=1 (opens in new window)

Matthew Rivera

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Geralynne Rode

Teacher | Science | Elm

  • sites.google.com/site/msrodesscience2/ (opens in new window)

Faculty | Game Design


Gina Cannici

Teacher | Kinetic Wellness | Elm

Jack Doyle

Teacher | Science | Elm

Nicole Hanson

Teacher | Science | Elm

Christian Hartwig

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Mr. Hartwig is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

  • hartwigshistory.blogspot.com (opens in new window)

Steve Mrkvicka

Teacher | Science | Elm

  • mrmrkvickascienceclass.weebly.com/index.html (opens in new window)

Tracy Reppen

Teacher | Science | Elm


Faculty | Hospitality & Tourism


Colleen Byrne

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Kathy Demas

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Susan Hawes

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Ms. Hawes is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

Hayley Jensen

Teacher | Science | Elm

Laura Mueller

Teacher | Math | Elm

Rikki Schullo

Teacher | Special Education | Elm


Faculty | Psychology


Lisa Berkery

Teacher | Engineering | Elm

Ms. Berkery is a Google Certified Educator, Levels 1 & 2.

Karen Korteling

Teacher | Art | Elm

  • sites.google.com/epcusd401.org/emsart/home (opens in new window)

Dave Kushner

Teacher | Kinetic Wellness | Elm

Tiffany Mesi

Teacher | English Language Arts | Elm

Jennifer Schulte

Teacher | Special Education | Elm


Faculty | Sociology


Stacey Blair

Teacher | Social Studies | Elm

Ms. Blair is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1. 

Kristen Kazuk

Teacher | Special Education | Elm

Michelle Lite

Teacher | Math | Elm

Tracy Lotz

Teacher | Math | Elm

Ms. Lotz is a Google Certified Educator, Level 1.

Margaret Walsh

Teacher | Kinetic Wellness | Elm