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The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

Five of the best electives Colonia High offers

Photo Credit: Photo via NJ Spotlight News under Creative Commons Licence
Due to Colonia High’s growing interest in world history, a Western Civ. class was made. Students are required to take four years of English, but there are over 25 electives students can take based off their preferences.

Students are required to take core classes like English and algebra that are meant to prepare them for the likes of state testing. But there’s an argument that students aren’t aware of certain gifts they may have that may not be obvious in a math setting. Electives open the door for students to find their niche, eagerness to learn something new, and feel confident in a concentrated area of interest.


Taught by Mrs. Danielle Allen, journalism offers students the ability to help keep other students and citizens informed. Journalism plays an important role in informing the school, spreading awareness, and providing a platform for diverse communities. Journalism focuses on non-fiction writing, as students write reports on various topics.

Joining a school’s newspaper allows you to meet new people and understand their perspectives, it also shapes opinion and character. journalism is spread out through three years. Intro to Journalism students learn how to write an article. Students conduct independent research to factually inform the school’s community. Students are taught how to write opinion articles and reviews, as well.

Multimedia journalism focuses on the impact social media has when spreading news. Students also get the chance to work with cameras and learn about the impact of photojournalism. Broadcast journalism focuses on the video component of journalism. Classmates create podcasts of their unique interests, and interview guests for their opinions.

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Lit. & Film

Directed by Mr. Stephen Carew, Literature and Film is a class for all film buffs. The class focuses more on film theory than film production. Film theory focuses on the various themes in film and how they are depicted in literature and society. The class wants its students to understand cinema as a unique form of art, one with an emotional approach. Literature and Film’s goal is to understand the impact movies have on culture and development.

Students also analyze shots, screenplay, and cinematography to asses the value of a great movie. Some movies watched are “The Matrix”, “Inception”, “Get Out”, “Encanto”, and “Ex Machina.” There are units that focus on the importance of the hero’s journey in film, and even how societal issues like generational trauma are expressed in cinema.

JP Galope, Colonia High senior said, “Literature and Film gave me more of an appreciation for film, and its analysis of themes gave me a unique perspective on cinema I hadn’t had before.”

Screenwriting & Film Production

Screenwriting is taught by Mrs. Danielle Allen, and the class’s curriculum focuses on film production. Students learn about the jobs people in the industry have, and what it’s like to work them. The class uses group work as a way for students to put themselves in the filmmaking roles like directing, story-boarding, and editing. Students create a meet-cute, commercial and PSA in their production teams while creating other videos independently.

The class is also dedicated to scriptwriting and how the process of writing a movie unfolds. Students learn about the impact of the three-act plot structure and how that affects the script. Allen also gets technical by assigning questions about character development in script and even action sequences. Students learn how to format a screenplay correctly.


Having Dr. Joel Ferris as a teacher broadens your perspective on the importance of a psychology. Furthermore, his degree and psych coupled by his experience as a therapist makes the class more engaging. He’s able to use real-life examples students can follow to understand psychological concepts.

The class uses the bio-psycho-social model when discussing concepts and disorders. Psych’s biological approach focuses on the development of the brain and its neurotransmitters. The class even talks about the four regions of the brain, what they control, and how they affect mental health.

The latter half of the class is focused on how social dynamics can be a plausible theory for mental health. How your parents conditioned you and the environment you were placed under can affect the way you act and think. While the class discusses topics like personality disorder and mental health, its main theme is supporting and championing positive mental health.


Taught by Mr. Anthony Perrino, Civics focuses on what it means to be a good citizen. Students learn about the three branches of government and how they affect our country. The program reminds students to speak up about potential human rights related issues, and the healthy steps needed for change. The class also discusses the meaning behind political responsibility and ideations.

Classmates get to enact proposed laws that are discussed openly and respectively by other students. It highlights the important values and principles of American democracy. Projects include making your own political party with distinctive policies. The latter half of the class is dedicated to pursuing an independent research project. Students must come up with an idea or cause they believe in to change.

Using data and factual information, students try to predict ways their cause would make society better. Mr. Perrino’s goal is to have students advocate for their opinions and values. Colonia High senior, John Kucel said, “Mr. Perrino is an open-minded teacher who supports his students and their goals.”

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About the Contributor
Joseph Sanfilippo
Joseph Sanfilippo, Managing Editor of Entertainment and Media
Joseph Sanfilippo is an 18-year-old Senior at Colonia High School. Sanfilippo is an only child but enjoys being around family and friends. Most of his friendships have impacted him in a positive way. Sanfilippo is an avid movie-goer and dedicates some of his free time to write reviews. He has a passion for creative self-expression, and constantly gets stuck in a world of imagination. He also has a passion for music, and most of his buddies know he’s always analyzing the next big Indie film or song. Sanfilippo’s favorite subject is English. He feels at ease when he’s writing because that’s when most of his thoughts emerge.  This year he's in Journalism 3 where he is eager to create his own podcast and create videos.  You can catch him hanging out with his friend group or at your local AMC theater, working or watching a movie. Sanfilippo plans on being a filmmaker one day and can’t wait for what the future holds. 

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The student news site of Colonia High School
Five of the best electives Colonia High offers