The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Athens animal science and agriculture programs takes students under its wing

Photos by Jasmine A Glenn
This is the agriscience room where they learn about nutrition for all living things. They learn about plants, animals, and people.


The agriscience elective at Athens Drive Magnet High School informs students on keeping balanced diets and spreading awareness of what students are putting into their bodies. This class’s guidance in students’ health is one of the many qualities that makes it an increasingly popular class for students at ADMHS.

“This class teaches students about how to become educated consumers of where their food comes from. Additionally, a component of the course focuses on career preparation by incorporating leadership skills and project-based learning,” said Susan Jones, agriscience teacher.

The ADMHS Animal science program is a great opportunity for those who want to follow more into the department of animal science careers along with other agricultural-related jobs and degrees in college. This is a particularly great route since Athens has the NCSU College Of Veterinary Medicine right around the corner.

“This program lets students explore careers in animal science and agriculture which is such a large field because agriculture provides so many consumer goods. Through leadership activities, students also develop skills in public speaking and professionalism,” said Lydia Smith, FFA president.

At Athens Drive, there is a program called the Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE). This is a career-ready practice aligned just for the career plans of those looking into futures that have to do with animal science and agriculture. The course is helpful in teaching students the main broad information on agriculture.

“Agriscience is a broad course that provides a foundational understanding of agriculture and how the field is more than just being a farmer,” said Jones.

“It gives students the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the big issues in agriculture and why the agricultural industry is so important. It teaches students the science behind where their food comes from,” said Jones.

 Part of the program is the labs and small field trips that they offer. It teaches a lot to the students who don’t have as much knowledge of agriculture and live in the city. 

Students sign up to take care of the outdoor animals on the weekends for (supervised agriscience experiences) SAE hours. Athens students cannot get into the school over the weekend, so they feed them extra on Fridays after their cages have been cleaned. Students volunteer to take the animals home on longer school breaks for additional SAE hours.

 Occasionally, the agriscience applications course will walk across the street to the Well-Fed community garden to tour and see agriculture in action. Walking over to the well-fed community garden is so helpful for those who have not had the experience to learn about agriculture around them.

“This is important because for students living in downtown and southwest Raleigh agriculture does not happen as much as it happens here,” said Jones.

In order to take the animal science course, freshmen must take the prerequisite animal science class. With the necessary animal care and handling skills, the honors animal science courses require a serious and hard-working mindset in students.

“In vet assisting, the student will shadow a veterinarian during the class period approximately two days a week in order to reach the honor requirement for the final exam,” said Kailee Johnson, animal science teacher.

For students at ADMHS, agriscience is a prerequisite for taking an animal science course. Kayla Bass, senior, applied to Athens Drive just for the animal science program. Bass said she searched for the best animal science program in her area. She found that Athens Drive was the best one to help her achieve her goal of being a surgeon for small animals. As an extracurricular activity Bass Works at the North Woods Animal Hospital. For the second semester, Bass got into the vet assisting class at Athens where students go off campus and shadow vets. After taking agriscience and both one and two animal science classes as a senior,  students have the opportunity to vet assist.

Even if you want to join the program just for fun, or use it to help achieve a goal for the future, the Athens Drive animal science program is always open to new students.

“I’m not sure if I want to have a career that has to do with animals, but animal science definitely is a great class to help you advance in possible job options,” said Greyson Hatrick, student.

 Hatrick has a pet snake at home and plans to breed his snake eventually.

 “It will for sure help me better educate myself, so I can eventually breed my pet ball python at home safely and correctly,” said Hatrick. 

Students can take just one to try it out or continue taking all four classes throughout their four years of high school.

Although there is so much more left of the year, Hatrick’s opinion on the class has already started forming: “I love the class because I get to take care of the animals and have lots of fun,” said Hatrick.


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