AP Class Favorites

Ariel Goldberg and Quinn Postman

Ariel Goldberg- AP Psychology

The Northern Valley district provides various AP options throughout 9th-12th grades, aiming to help students find something they are interested in. The few popular courses that students take are English Language Comp, Physics, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Art, World History, Psychology, and Micro/Macro Economics. Many students decide to take these challenging classes throughout their high school careers to boost their college applications, build connections with teachers, and have an enjoyable year filled with learning and growing. 

As a freshman, I was excited to start the school year playing soccer, spending time after school, and looking forward to meeting friends from all different grades. Everyone would group together at the beginning of practice and talk about their favorite teacher. For three years, I always heard about Mr. H’s AP Psychology class and knew I needed to get the same experience. Now, as a senior, AP Psychology is my top choice because I not only learn something new every day, but Mr. H fills the room with laughter, positivity, and a great time. 

At the beginning of the year, when I got my schedule, I was nervous that I would pronounce Mr. Haralambopoulos wrong, as it was the longest name on the list of teachers that I had. When I walked into class on the first day of school, Mr. H did nothing but welcome us to the start of a great year. His first words were, “you can just call me Mr. H,” and I felt immediate relief. 

AP Psychology is an AP course that prepares students for the AP College Board test in May. We are taught sensation and perception, social psychology, key figures in psychology, along with many more topics, and we get to learn all of it in an interactive way. Mr. H gives us projects and opportunities to work with peers in our class, and he presents information that resonates with us as teenagers. He uses stories from his life to give us a better perspective of what we are focusing on.

Although the tests are challenging, Mr. H prepares you by providing many resources that allow you to succeed in his class. This is the only time I enjoy sitting in one place for 54 minutes because of the atmosphere the teacher and the students create. 

My experience with AP courses is a lot of notetaking and studying outside of school, and the material itself may be difficult to retain right away. Taking an AP is a process of patience, but Psychology and studying the human brain is truly something I would love to pursue in the future.  

We also practice FRQs in class, which are free-response questions that are seen at the end of the AP exam, and go over the classwork at the end of every period. Mr. H offers extra help before and after school for students who have additional questions or need more explanations to better understand what is being taught. 

Mr. H assigns homework weekly, however, it is organized on the Canvas calendar, leaving students with opportunities to work ahead and submit what they need to within a reasonable timeframe. He is a very fair teacher if you communicate effectively and ask for help if you are struggling. 

My favorite project we did in class was during the first marking period when we paired up with a classmate and had to build a brain and label its parts. It was very hands-on and I was able to memorize the parts better when it was time to take the test. 

Mr. H teaches with a lot of visual explanations, and I feel like I am a visual learner, so I like how I can grasp what he is teaching. Even if the ideas are complex, the practice we do in class is helpful for test day. Students shouldn’t be threatened with starting a challenging class. As the year progresses, students will improve if they stay consistent and are willing to grow. 

I would definitely recommend taking AP Psychology with Mr. H because many students would find interest in the challenge, as well as build a relationship with the teacher and students in class.


Quinn Postman – AP Econ

Once I first entered high school, I thought I would become some sort of history nerd because I always loved history during middle school. I took US History 1 Honors freshman year, AP US History sophomore year, and AP World History: Modern junior year. I enjoyed history classes and planned to take AP Euro this year. However, scheduling didn’t allow me to take it, and I was on the search for another AP class to take my senior year. 

My mom and I started to scroll through the list of classes, searching for an AP class. My mom then stopped scrolling and said to me, “Doesn’t your track coach teach AP Econ?” It dawned on me then that AP Econ would be a great class to take my senior year. 

I heard that AP Econ was somewhat of a hard class from friends who took it their junior year. I always felt compelled to learn more about how a country’s economy operates. Even from the summer homework, I was intrigued and excited to learn more about economics. The summer book we had to read, Murder at the Margin, detailed how an economist used economic principles to solve a murder case. 

Now, I am a little bit biased because Kenny would not be too happy if I didn’t say Econ, but in truth, Econ has been a very fun class so far. 

AP Econ is split into two-semester classes: microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics deals with the economy on a narrower scale. Macroeconomics deals with the economy on a global scale. 

 In microeconomics, you learn basic economic concepts such as supply and demand and apply them to market structures such as Monopoly and Perfect Competition. In macroeconomics, you learn how an overall economy works on a larger scale. 

 In my experience, AP Econ is a very difficult class; however, with Kenny as a teacher, the class becomes a bit easier. 

 When you first walk into AP Econ, Kenny can seem very intimidating. A six-foot bald-headed giant, who sometimes has a short temper, can be scary for kids at times. For me, I knew Kenny was a teddy bear at heart after being part of the track team. 

The class is broken up between lectures and work you do independently. Unlike other courses, Kenny’s lectures are engaging because they apply to the class. Kenny relates the lesson to people in a class by using them as direct examples. 

The work done on your own is either a reading or a worksheet that can be done with other classmates. Juniors and seniors can take the class, so you often have a lot of friends in the class. 

The tests are a major part of your grade in AP Econ, so you have to readily prepare for them. With most AP tests, you are asked to not only memorize information but apply it to specific problems, which has proved to be a challenge for me and almost everyone else taking AP Econ. 

However, the whole point of taking an AP class is to prepare yourself for the rigor of college courses, so in that sense, it is beneficial for students to learn how to deal with hardship in class now rather than in college. 

Economics offers the opportunity for a student to learn how the United States and other countries operate and how they directly affect you. For example, a few days ago, Kenny showed us his real-life paycheck and how taxes take away from his total amount. 

I really like Kenny’s class because he is super transparent with you and the class. He explains how seniors are in for a rough time with college loans and says that you should make your parents a lovely dinner if they are paying for your college. 

Overall, I recommend that juniors and seniors next year take AP Economics because you learn essential information about how each country’s economy works and because Kenny is teaching the class.