Two of Huntington High School’s most popular social studies elective courses are Women’s Studies and Advanced Placement Human Geography, a first year “virtual” class.
The two courses are both taught Camille Tedeschi, who has been on the high school faculty since September 2002. A graduate of Walt Whitman High School, she obtained an undergraduate degree at Pace University and graduate degrees from Stony Brook University and CUNY-Queens College. She is also certified as a school librarian.
Women’s Studies is a half year elective course that can also be taken for college credit through St. John’s University. “It is a social history course that connects the past and present in the USA and the world,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “Students learn so many topics that are often underrepresented in a typical history class. The students work hard in the course and enjoy their learning. This semester my group of 25 students is eager to learn and gets animated over topics and films connected to the course. Many of the students have been with me since ninth grade. It is an honor to have been their teacher for three or four consecutive years. This course really helps each person understand themselves and the material without the required pressure of other classes aligned to state or national exams.”
Ms. Tedeschi has served as a student government class advisor and history day club advisor and is currently the Interact Club’s faculty advisor. She has been recognized by EF Tours and Me to We for excellence in teaching and for showing her students the world. She was the honored educator at WE Day in Manhattan in April 2016 and holds the title of Global Education Ambassador for Long Island. She loves to travel and has been a guest speaker at several conventions and training tours abroad for teachers. In her spare time she has traveled throughout the world and visited over 70 countries.
Students currently enrolled in Women’s Studies speak highly of the class. “Women’s Studies has really made me realize all the amazing things women have offered to the world,” Sarah Agrillo said.
The class is expected to be in high demand again in 2018/19. “Women’s Studies is an awesome class that has really made me understand what goes on in the world with women,” Samantha Maixner said.
Students look forward to coming to the longtime teacher’s room for the course. “Women Studies is easily our favorite class during the day and Ms. Tedeschi makes all of the information super interesting,” said Bella Fox and Phoebe Walther, almost in unison.
Luke Giordano got right to the point. “I love Women’s Studies,” he said. It’s a sentiment shared by just about everyone who has taken the class
“I’ll be honest, as a guy, I was a bit nervous about taking Women’s Studies,” Dominick Stanley said. “I knew I was walking into a girl’s world and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But now that I’m here, I can firmly say that it was a great decision to take the class. I love Ms. Tedeschi and her teaching style and I’m glad that I made the right decision in taking the class.”
So many of the students have stuck with the teacher after first being exposed to her in a classroom as ninth graders. “I am so grateful to have Ms. Tedeschi for three years in a row, especially taking her Women’s Studies class,” Jenna Yabroudy said. “This course is really interesting and has opened my eyes to what women face daily today and what they have endured in the past.”
AP Human Geography
AP Human Geography is a full year, one credit “virtual” course open to students in grades 10-12. “It is my first time teaching the course and my goal is to build the program so the class can be taught as a year-long elective,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “My students are driven to excel and complete their assignments with tremendous effort each week. It is a great course as an elective after studying world history or in collaboration with the course to enhance the teaching of world history. I have always loved geography and investigations into why people settle and develop the way they do aligned to their place in the world. This course also makes connections to many of my travels and the students love to see how the world works through the lens of a geographer”
Class members are currently studying language and ethnicities. Chairman of Humanities Joseph Leavy was a recent guest lecturer on Mandarin Chinese. Student learned basic concepts and phrases and received a Chinese name.
“Human Geography offers a very interesting view on world history and Ms. Tedeschi is the best,” Noah Morris said.
Students have their own personal reasons for enrolling in the class. “I had originally taken this course merely for the extra AP credit, but once I began learning about the people of the world, I realized that this class would help me become an active and culturally aware member of society,” Christiana DeLuca said.
Students welcomed the course to the lineup of social studies offerings with open arms. “From the moment I found out Human Geography was a course that was offered here I was hooked,” Ryan Hoffmann said. “Learning all about culture has been so much fun, plus having Ms. Tedeschi as a teacher for a third year along with the unique class environment makes it even better.”
As Huntington High School students go about deciding which courses to take during the 2018/19 school year, they would be wise to carefully consider the opinions of this year’s AP Human Geography class members.
“When I first learned about this course and read the description, I instantly signed up for the class,” Christopher Mavrogian said. “The skills it teaches me are so valuable that I apply them to other humanities courses. It really helps me with AP World History, as it reinforced similar content. It also teaches you to be on top of your work efficiently. I highly recommend the course for anyone.”
As AP Human Geography becomes better known among the high school student body, interest in it continues to grow. “AP Human Geography is a class that should be taught to all students,” Christopher Diaz said. “Not only does it help you earn AP credit, it also helps you in seeing the world in a different perspective.”
The course is helping students grow intellectually. “AP Human Geography has helped me become more aware of the conflicts and interactions that have occurred and are still ongoing in the world,” Melisa Torres said. “Seeing how the world has been shaped into what it is today has really given me a new perspective.”