Education continues at Staples after final bell rings

Education continues at Staples after final bell rings

Jenny Lupoff, Staff Writer

Staples is flooded with a couple thousand students traveling to and from classes throughout the school day. Yet the school does not become completely silent and deserted after the last students leave. Well into the evening, there are some surprising activities going on.

Every Tuesday around 7 p.m. the bridge on the second floor is transformed. Gone are students sitting about, studying and socializing. In their place is Sandy Adamczyk’s “Dance Your Way to Fitness and Fun.” The dance class is just one of the 28 Continuing Education classes offered for adults that take place after hours at Staples.

Adamcyzk, an award winning professional dancer and dance instructor, said her class revolves around learning about the different cultures of dance. Whether she’s teaching Swing, Latin American, Waltz or the Foxtrot, she “likes to keep it simple,” Adamcyzk said. Her students seem to share this love of simplicity.

“I love, love, love to dance, but I wasn’t in the mood for something structured. The class simply sounded like fun,” Westport resident and new member of the class Peggy Jorgensen said.

Many of the other Continuing Ed classes that begin this month also revolve around exploring something new in a relaxed environment. Some of the classes include Gluten Free Baking, Yoga and Intro to Drawing and Acrylic Painting.

Continuing Ed offers more academic-oriented courses as well, including Basic Conversational Spanish taught by Staples Spanish teacher Horatio Ballesteros.

Ballesteros says the course is not nearly as advanced as the Spanish courses he teaches at school. Instead, the course involves “a lot of culture, geography, and travel destinations,” Ballesteros said.

According to Ballesteros, the course is made up of adults of all ages and is oriented for all kinds of people. “Sometimes [my students] work with people who speak the language, or they have a relative at home. There are so many cases,” Ballesteros said.

Similar to Adamcyzk’s dance class, conversational Spanish also revolves around exploring something new. “The course isn’t graded. The whole purpose is to get more familiar with the culture,” Ballesteros said.

Despite the abundance of these courses that go on each week, some students are not aware of their presence. Jarod Ferguson ’18, said he did not know these courses were held, and in Staples too. Yet, “It makes sense. Our school is so big,” Ferguson said.

Other students like Shane Rabacs ’18, found it odd that the school is used for this purpose.  “It’s weird that adults are learning in the same classrooms that we are,” Rabacs said.

Regardless, students seem to agree that they like the informal nature of the Continuing Ed courses.  “A course that is low key would be more beneficial,” Quincy Cuthbertson ’17 said. “In a relaxed environment we would perform better,” added Ferguson.