As APLAC numbers increase, Hamilton forced to drop Creative Writing


Clara Sloan

"The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Readings," one of the textbooks Hamilton uses to teach APLAC, helps students with homework assignments as well as essays.

Clara Sloan, Web Editor

Last year, English teacher Phillip Hamilton’s AP Language and Composition course had 96 students enrolled. Now, there are roughly 130. As the college-level class continues to grow rapidly, Hamilton reflects on the reasons behind the increase.

“Now, of course, the juniors last year are the smallest group in the building right now, so there would have been some growth, but the growth definitely exceeds what would be typical,” Hamilton said. “There’s a higher percentage of juniors taking the class than ever before.”

Hamilton credits the rapid growth mostly to “a lot of good word-of-mouth about the class,” which junior Ellie Warnes confirms.

“A bunch of my friends who are a year older than me told me that it’s a lot of work, but that you learn to write so much better than you did before,” Warnes said.

As a hopeful future psychologist, Warnes enrolled in APLAC to better her writing at the college level. Despite its notorious workload, taking the class was a no-brainer for Warnes.

Due to the significant increase in class size and the piles of grading required, Hamilton must now drop his Creative Writing classes, leaving it up to fellow English teacher, Crystal Sinclair-King.

Hamilton, who has taught Creative Writing for six years and was one of the forces behind De Soto High School’s implementation of the class, is disappointed to have to move on, but nevertheless remains grateful.

“I’m sad about [moving on] but I do think that Sinclair does an excellent job. Our APLAC numbers are doing so well because it is a good opportunity to prepare for college and the fact that it’s popular is not something I should complain about,” Hamilton said.