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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Student interest declining in speech and drama electives

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press
Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in the Drama Department’s play, “Murder’s in the Heir.” Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill has a host of electives that fulfill the fine art subject requirement in the A-G requirements for college.  However, speech and drama classes have seen a decrease in students in recent years. 

In Speech I and II, students research and present a variety of informative speaking, dramatic speaking, and debate.  Students in Drama and Oral Interpretation work on comedy skits, improvisational games, genres of drama and more.  

“A few years ago, I only got 20 kids to sign up for speech, and they canceled the class,” speech teacher and advisor Jennifer Kindred said.

Speech has enough students right now, but more students are needed to fill in for the seniors and students who won’t be returning.

“I need to maintain the same number of students that I’ve had in the past,” Kindred said. “Right now I have about 45 in the class, so it needs to be at least 40 for the class to run.”

Drama teacher Karen Rodrigues is also in need of new students for next school year.  There used to be two classes of Drama, but was reduced to one this year.

“We have very few returning because we had such a large Drama 2 group this year, and so yeah, we’re looking for a bunch of students,” Rodrigues said.  “The only reason I’m concerned is because I love the class and I want to keep it going, I don’t want it to continue to decline.”

 Junior Mahaila Woods is a drama student who started performing when she was three years old.

 “I thought this class would help a lot in learning new things, and it really has,” Mahaila said.

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 Despite the lack of interest that Rodrigues has seen, she is hopeful for the future.

“I would love to have two classes again. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I’m excited that’s even a possibility,” she said.

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  • B

    Brianna ClarkMar 4, 2014 at 12:54 am

    It’s sad to see these classes declining. I took drama for two years, both as a freshman and a sophomore, and am still involved in the plays and productions they put on, as part of the publicity crew for “Murder’s in the Heir” and as the snack seller at their most recent production of the Carol Burnett skits. If you have time in your schedule, I highly suggest signing up for drama, it’s a really fun class, and it definitely helps with self confidence and public speaking. They’re a really fun group, and Mrs. Rodrigues is an awesome teacher!

  • S

    StudentMar 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I don’t think that students aren’t necessarily interested in the speech and drama electives. Rather, we have so many other classes that we are required or feel the need to take for college applications that we just sincerely do not have the time in our schedule to take speech or drama. I took the drama course my sophomore year in order to fulfill my arts requirement, and I actually did want to try and take up speech my junior or senior year. However, I am part of the Bioscience Academy which requires that I take certain classes, and I personally thought that it was more important for me to get my fourth year in Spanish, so I ended up having no room in my schedule to partake in either elective.

    Anyway, best of luck to these programs. They’re both run by fabulous teachers, and I’m sure are a lot fun.

  • A

    Ami BallmerMar 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    I think it’s important to note that just a couple years ago, getting into speech class required an application and it was competitive to get in the class.