Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Florida State University; Teacher Certification, Wayne State University; Master of Art Education, Boston University
What do you love about teaching at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy?
I find pleasure in coming to work every day because of the work ethic of the students and faculty. They all seem to find so much passion in everything they do every day! The students know that they are in a safe and welcoming environment for them to express themselves in their art and I believe that our families understand and appreciate the value of the arts in their child’s education to create a well-rounded member of society.
What is the most important thing you want students to learn in your classroom?
The most important thing I want students to learn in my classroom is that we are all deeply connected to the arts. It is part of our humanity! What I strive to teach is an understanding of the language of visual art and the security that with practice, we can all learn to be comfortable with our creative nature.
Students who have trouble with the subject of art need to employ the old adage of practice! I was certainly not a good potter in high school, and only marginally so in college, but something kept drawing me back to working with clay. When I have had times of frustration, I reminded myself that even professional potters have a scrap pile! It was after that realization that I gave myself permission to have failures. That, coupled with a lot of practice, brought me to the level that students see today. I am the same way with my drawing and painting.
How do you stay inspired or “recharge your battery” as an educator?
I love to learn new things. I have recognized that this love of learning from other artists helps to inform my own practices. Many very famous artists have been quoted “I am still learning.” I think that is a good way to view life, because if you are not learning, you are stagnate, and that is not a good thing to do with the talents and brains that God has given us. I spend a lot of time going to museums (in the U.S. and abroad) and using any means necessary (internet) to soak up information from other artists, which I bring back to the classroom. My curriculum is always fluid because I am always bringing new information to the table for my students.
What are your hopes for the arts program?
I hope to see the Visual Arts continue to grow since we as a people are very visually orientated. Everything that we touch today has been designed by someone. I can’t stress that enough! As an art teacher, I find joy in helping students realize on paper the idea that is in their head, and giving them the opportunity to manipulate different materials than they would normally think of using. I would like to believe that one day when one of my students is trying to explain something to his or her colleagues, that they can easily draw their idea rather than spend countless hours trying to explain what is in their head. I have had students look up at me and exclaim that working in (insert your media choice here) is more enjoyable than they imagined it would be.
The best compliment that I have had (and continue to receive) is from students who didn’t realize how much they would enjoy the art class, and wish that they had taken the classes earlier!
In what professional organizations are you a member?
I am currently a board member of the Brevard Cultural Alliance and a member of the Florida Art Educator’s Association, National Art Educators Association and National Art Honor Society.
What awards have you won for your art?
I have received gold and silver Addy awards from the American Advertising Federation, as well as a Best in Show from the Florida Art Educators Association Show.