Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

KIVA Week: The Importance of Cultural Representation
KIVA Week: The Importance of Cultural Representation
Emma Tran and Paige KyleApril 18, 2024

IB Minority Club held its annual KIVA Week in March. This year many cultural clubs participated in events such a food night, a fashion show,...

Ditching the pencils - How students adapt to digital SAT
Ditching the pencils - How students adapt to digital SAT
Edward Tay and Anayla ApolinarApril 15, 2024

  As we continue to submerge into the digital age, some things have undergone significant changes. This year, for example, the SAT has gone...

District Introduces AP African American Studies

In 2022, the College Board announced the launch of AP African American Studies, which aims to provide an exploration of the history, culture, and literature of African Americans. “Many CCSD High Schools, including CT, Grandview, and Eaglecrest, will potentially be adding this course to their offerings over the next couple of years,” said Performance Improvement Partner for Social Studies of the Cherry Creek School District, Steven Kidd.

“Sometimes when we talk about the African American experience, it’s through two lenses. It’s Jim Crow or slavery. And it’s reductive, as opposed to looking at the experience through poetry and music and lasting legacies, and how African Americans have greatly impacted the country,” said social studies teacher, Mark Shwayder-Hughes.

Social Studies Coordinator, Scott Myers, highlighted the differences between the AP African American course compared to other AP history classes available, “In an APUSH class you have a dominant narrative of American history then you have an array of marginalized groups that you look at all those perspectives, and this would be the centering one marginalized group as the major lens to understand those historical errands,” said Myers.

Controversy arose in 2023, when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned the pilot course in the state leading the College Board to revise the course. “It infuriates me that in order for black history to be taught, it has to be okayed by white conservatives,” said Shwayder-Hughes. Shwayder-Hughes teaches a social studies course that, similar to AP African American Studies, covers the history of minority groups. “My hope is that as educators and as a school and as a district that we don’t privilege the group that’s always been privileged, that we privilege other voices,” said Shwayder-Hughes.

Many students have expressed interest in this course. President of the Ethnic Essence Club, Hannah Diakite, believes that students who take the course will be more open to people with different backgrounds. “I feel like if some people take the class […] they can find that sense of understanding and be exposed to something different […] it’ll open people up to just interacting,” said Diakite.

The AP and IB coordinator, Karen Slusher, speaks about her hopes for what this course will bring to students, “It really for me comes down to just helping students see that there are ways to explore content outside of the normal Avenue or pathway,” said Slusher.

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About the Contributors
Anayla Apolinar
Anayla Apolinar, Staff Reporter
This is Anayla’s first year in digital media. She is in her junior year and was born in Miami, Florida. With her experience from intro to journalism, Anayla hopes to capture many stories and share them with Cherokee Trail. One of her favorite things about being a part of the digital media team is interviewing people. She loves to touch base on different topics and gather different perspectives and opinions.
Edward Tay
Edward Tay, Staff Reporter
Edward Tay (pictured on the right) is a junior at Cherokee Trail High School and a staff member at CT Trail Media. He joined CT Trail Media to gain experience and elevate his knowledge of creating videos, creating exciting stories, and how to be more entertaining.   Edward has a YouTube channel and created videos since he was 10. His knowledge of video editing and understanding of social media led him to have over 6.8 thousand subscribers and gain over 1.5 million views in all of his YouTube videos combined.   As a freshman, one video he created from Video Production class was one of two videos selected to be broadcasted on CTTV. In FBLA, he qualified for state in the Digital Video Production category.   Besides video editing, he also enjoys chess and tennis. He is the current President of Chess Club at CT. He also likes to compete in chess tournaments. Notable achievements include getting 7th at the 2023 Scholastic State Championships, K-12 division, 4th at the Summit School of Chess #5, Open division, and participated in the Denver Open, U1800 division. He also volunteers at the Chess Club at Tallyn's Reach Library. This year is his 3rd year of tennis and his 1st year of Varsity tennis.    He also focuses a lot on his academics. This year, he has 5 AP courses. His hard work in school led to him receiving the AP Scholar Award once he finished his sophomore year.
Emma Tran
Emma Tran, Staff Reporter
Emma Tran is a Senior at CT and it’s her first year in Digital Media. She’s interested in being able to tell stories and explore her creative side within those stories. As a second generation immigrant in her family, Emma is thrilled to see what opportunities she’s able to experience and face challenges she’ll overcome. When she was younger, she used to play with cameras and when she got older, grew more experienced with video editing. While AP assignments and her part-time job take up most of her time, she uses every ounce of free time to read and go to concerts. Emma hopes to gain experience in news telling, writing, organizing, and production in order to graduate with different experiences and knowledge she’s never had before. After graduating, she hopes to be a software engineer and travel around the world.

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