Hidden Gems of DBHS

Popular Diamond Bar High School electives such as Photography and Marching Band have spent years in the spotlight, capturing the attention of many students. However, here are a few elective classes teaching specialized skills that many students might be unaware of.


   In Architecture, Brahmas learn and use computer aid drafting, which incorporates digital architecture and engineering, to virtually sketch their designs. In the seven years since this class first started, students have created designs for houses, bridges, motel restrooms for the handicapped and crime scenes for the Forensic Science class. Last year,  Architecture students worked in teams of four to design and produce a tealight, which is a candle in a thin, small plastic cup. 

Architecture has 100 students enrolled this year and is taught by An Tran, who has been teaching the class for the past three years and has worked in the field for eight years. Junior Saarth Trivedi has been enrolled in the class for three years and decided to take this class because he has been interested in designing buildings ever since he was young.

“I’ve learned a lot of life skills such as being more confident, being more responsible with my work, being more organized

Architecture students used a laser cutter to carve designs into wooden lanterns for a drafting program

and respectful to others,” Trivedi said.


Virtual enterprise students showcased their skills by presenting their business plan to industry judges, who gave them a final score

Virtual Enterprises teaches students about the fundamentals of how a business runs by operating the class as a business.  Students work in a “company” and take on the various products

such as insurance, publishing, apps and fashion. This year, the class’ product is a medical vending machine that sells bandaids, alcohol wipes and diabetic kits. The class is business positions in departments like marketing and information technology. They also create taught by

Sabrina Ruiz-Emmons, who worked in finance for 10 years. Senior Serena Yeh, who has been taking the class since last year, enrolled in the class since she wants to major in business.

“I learned a lot about how a business works and communication and how leaders have to communicate with other people,” Yeh said.


The Transition class, previously known as Lifeskills, focuses on helping Specialized Academic Instruction students learn how to adjust from high school life to college life. Teacher Tanya Aparicio leads the class in various activities, such as cooking classes that occur twice a week where students learn how to cook with fresh ingredients grown from the school garden. Aparicio uses the money she collects from recycling around campus to buy 

 the ingredients needed for the cooking classes. The class is paid for  by Workability I, a state-funded grant which provides services for the 137 students in the DBHS Workability program. Patricia Dimas coordinates the students’ field trips to colleges or various businesses in the community and conducts career assessments to help them figure out what career is right for them. 

The transition class collected holiday decorations for children outside of Walmart

She has also formed partnerships with Walmart, Smart & Final and Round Table Pizza, who employ the students and give them paychecks every month. “I just felt like I was born to do this job,” Dimas said. “It was something that I’ve always had an interest in and it’s quite gratifying. It brings me true joy to be able to help our students.”


Junior Kenneth Ov constructs a backstage prop in class

In Stagecraft, students have the opportunity to help out Drama’s fall and spring productions. Students can work the stage lights and sound system or help build sets. 

Inside the Stagecraft classroom, students sketch set and costume designs and create cut lists, which describes what materials are needed during construction. When building the sets, students use table saws, chop saws, band saws, staple guns, screws and many other devices. In the recent production of “Suite Surrender,” the Stagecraft students designed and constructed the hotel room’s walls and furniture. Stagecraft, which has been around since 2006 and currently has 37 students enrolled, is taught by Jenna 

Riley, who is a freelance designer at Cypress College and a technician at many theaters. Junior Camille Jackson, who has taken this class for the past three years, decided to enroll after hearing positive feedback from her brother, who also took the class.

“I’ve developed a skill to communicate better with people rather than being by myself,” Jackson said. “Now, I can go out and talk to people easier when I have to work shows because you can’t stay to yourself. You have to have good communication so everyone knows what’s going on.”