Le francais survit – French survives
Despite the rumors of the French program being cancelled permanently, French lives on. Principal Tracy Collins said, “I’ve been here for 10 years. If it’s a rumor, it’s almost always a rumor.”
Many concerns arose when people found out that the French teacher, Madame Wells, was retiring because that would entail the cancellation of the French class. For students it was a major worry, especially for those who only had one to two credits of French. Charlotte Renner said, “I was kind of worried the French class would be cancelled but now I’m glad it wasn’t because it looks good on college admissions that I have three years worth of French.”
That was part of the reason why Harrison School of the Arts wanted to apply for autonomy. Being in the French program enhances student curriculum because some of the French language is embedded in art lingo such as dance terminology. Atkinson said, “I think it’s wonderful, especially for those who want an extensive education in the future.”
Lakeland administrators also shared the same concern and that is what pushed them to find a new teacher.
Collins said, “If we couldn’t find a French teacher, we were considering having sign language as a foreign language class, but we didn’t want to drop to just having one foreign language class.”
While it was difficult to find a qualified teacher to take the spot of Madame Wells, the administration found one during the summer. Among the qualifications Atkinson needed to have was a professional degree in teaching, a degree in French and another language. She teaches French and Spanish classes.
Collins said, “The more variety we have to offer, the better. We all are really happy that the French program is being continued.”