Degrees and Certifications:

WWU - Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Humanities, & Political Science UW - Masters Classes in CS and Special Ed. CTE - Industry Certification

Mrs. Susan M. Larson

I am a graduate of Western Washington University with degrees in Communications, Political Science, and Humanities.  I have a passion for helping student discover their talents and dreams so that they can successfully launch into 21st century careers.   I have over 25+ years of combined industry experience working for the Washington State Department of Commerce and I have launched two non-profits organizations.  In addition, I  also bring 16 years of public education experience working for the North Thurston, Tenino, and Tumwater School District.  

I am excited to currently lead three clases at Black Hills High School  The first is Visual Communications - iDesign where we will provide students an introduction to Photography, and Graphic Design. While learning about these skills we learn about computer technology, web design, internet safety, and interactive media careers. Students will research career choices while exploring technology dependent occupations of the 21st century.  Lastly, we will learn about personal, professional, and ethical standards of behavior for the workplace.

The second class is  iVideo: Video Productions. This class is designed for students ready to take a peek into the world of Storytelling via Cinema and Video Journalism.  Students are expected to work in team and independently to meet project deadlines.  Computer skills are needed to learn Industry video editing software: Adobe Premier Pro.  Students are required to spend time outside of school completing video assignments.   Students in this class can elect to be a part of our Video Tech Squad - meeting the many needs of video in our school community.

Students who excell in iVideo can apply to return to our third class Broadcast Media/PACK-TV (Video Productions 2). Student leaders in this course are the communication team for the school. They are responsible for the management of Black Hills High School’s weekly television news program, ‘PACKTV.’  Students are responsible to meet additional publicity needs of the school. This class will incorporate the concepts and technique acquired in our Video Productions 1 class in addition to the skills learned in our iDesign class.  Students are entirely responsible for the production side of each PACK TV broadcast (with instructor oversight and supervision). Each student will produce various news packages for inclusion in the weekly news by formulating, shooting, scripting, tracking and editing each piece. Students will also rotate through cycles of studio and control room responsibility, including writer and producer, technical director, audio engineer, camera operator, reporter, weather presenter and co-anchor. Students will be required to cover extra-curricular school events for program inclusion.  The aim is to strengthen student communication skills and story telling abilities while using state of the art broadcast media equipment.  Students will be exposed to many interactive media careers in the broadcast media field. Skills learned are transferable to creating their own Youtube Channel or hosting a blog on line with parent permission.

4 years ago I launched a class called Career Choices. Because of so many students interested in my other classes,  Mr. Derrig is now teaching our Career Choices class for the 2021-2022 school year. With new updated Washington State requirments for a more indepth High School and Beyond Plan I am offering a new class to help students discover their career pathway for high school and beyond.  This CTE class will help students discover their natural gifting and talents and how that might fit into tomorrow's highly competetive job market.  Career Choices class helps students discover their natural career related skills, interests, and strengths. Students will identify what makes them unique and marketable in today’s 21st Century  job market. Students identify career goals and develop skills to help them pursue their purpose. Students will make SMART goals and prepare a unique online digital employment portfolio that will help launch them onto their career path.  This course will focus on linking individuals strengths and values to growing careers in today’ job market. This course is the prerequisite to all other worksite learning opportunities.

A few years ago  I launched a Computer Science Essentials/iTech. class.  This course was through Project Lead The Way. This nationally recognized course introduced students to how computers work and we created phone apps and web pages via learning Python, Code Combat, and MIT's App Inventor.  This year, Mr. Taggasell will be leading this class and working along side Microsoft's Teal's program.  We look forward to growing our Computer Science program.  It is my aim to encorporate some of the concepts learned about CS into all of my classes.

Lastly we will offer a club on Friday's duirng CLUB time called TSA where students can work on improving their technology skills in over 35 career interest areas. Some subjects include video, graphic arts, engineering, and bio-tech.  I am the lead advisor but I am supported by my colleages who have expertise in engineering, science, robotics, flight, bio-tech, anatomy, and child development.  I also sponsor a Christian prayer club called Ignite which meets in my room at 7:00 Wednesday mornings. Please see me if you are interested in either club.  

It's going to be an awesome year! I can't wait to meet you! 

Mrs. Larson