You Deserve Some Credit


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Mr. Nighswonger with his slogan #GovIsLife

Kale Nelson, Editor in Chief

The Lariat is life, and everybody at Shadow Ridge High School knows that. However, for social studies teacher, Mr. Nighswonger, #GovIsLife comes up next in line. Next school year, the veteran government teacher has been tasked with heading up the brand new dual credit government class for seniors. The realm of dual credit classes is expanding for Mustangs, and as for next year, Nighswonger’s class will be one of the fresh new options. It gives students an opportunity to take a college level class with guaranteed opportunity to receive college credit. Students who take this class can be at a huge advantage down the road, having already earned college credits at a much more manageable price and while attending high school without the stress of a ton of other college classes.

Nighswonger is an experienced teacher, and is excited to be taking on the new project. Since he’s been here, he’s taught government every year, and this year he’s even been dabbling in psychology. Extremely well-rounded, dual credit government should be no problem for Nighswonger and should be a fun opportunity for his students.

Mr. Nighswonger teaching his class (Kale Nelson)

“You automatically get the college credit if you get a C for the semester. It’s not like AP where you have to pass the test at the end of the year. It’s taught at something like an AP level, but without so much focus on an AP test,” Nighswonger explained.

He also said that the class will be more based around writing, to give students the feel of what an actual college class is like, as dual credit classes are run through Nevada State College.

Nighswonger, however, still said, “I think if they’ve been in an honors class and been successful, they’ll be successful [in dual credit government] as well.”

The new dual credit classes have quickly grown very popular, as many students see them as an alternative route to college credits instead of an AP class.

Elisa Esparza, junior, shared, “I would rather take dual credit because you don’t have to take a test at the end like AP and you still get college credits.”

I feel like we need to make it [government] part of our lives for us to make it better.

— Mr. Nighswonger

One of Nighswonger’s senior students, Justin Lewis, highly recommends any class Nighswonger is teaching to all junior students.

Lewis said, “I like him because his teaching style is different than most teachers. Rather than having multiple choice tests or homework assignments, he makes sure we have the assignments done in class and that you understand what he’s teaching before he tests you.”

While this new class may have slightly more work involved, Nighswonger is clearly a passionate teacher who is flexible to the well-being of his students and cares that they truly learn every day.

“As I’ve taught government over the years I’ve really tried to preach to my students to be involved because if we’re not involved then we can’t ever anticipate anything changing. When so many of us unfortunately accept the status quo, that’s all it continues to be is the status quo. For me it just means you have to make government a part of your life and you have to get involved if you want anything to change. In our system change, comes slow but if we don’t ever push for it or pursue it then change won’t happen,” Nighswonger stated.