Time to be thankful and express gratitude

25 11 2013

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I am thankful for the school community and the warm embrace I received since moving here seven years ago.  I left Wisconsin to a for a new job, new State, new culture, and renewed opportunity to build a art program.  Moving to Arkansas from Wisconsin was a choice we made as a family to open doors we could not open in Wisconsin.  I left a wonderful teaching position with great students who I loved very much.  It was comfortable, great art budget, and I was making progress yearly with my teaching.

One thing that eluded me was the ability to impact the whole community. Not just my studio, school, but the whole city.  I tried breaking in as a art teacher and an artist but it was challenging.  I did my community service projects but it was only a local impact.  I wanted to have a much bigger impact.

Now, in Little Rock it is like a whole new world.  I still do all my community service projects but I can affect a greater population.  I have been successful with my work as an artist too.  I had my work in a local art gallery for a year, until I got too busy with all my student works to complete my art work.  I have spoken at the Clinton Presidential Library several times and had my students works performed and presented many times at the Presidential Library.  We win awards at the state level annually, my students art works are recognized in the Governor’s Mansion and Arkansas Art Center, we raise the expectations not just for our school campus but for the greater community.   My artists graduate and move on to great art schools and do very well.

This year I will be presenting at the National Art Convention about the many events and community projects I have been able to carry out in Little Rock.  I would have never had the courage to propose the workshop presentations without the success I have had in Little Rock.

Today at the Mission Market in Little Rock, there were several different booths set up selling products to help educate and promote non-profit organizations/programs.  As I hurried to set up our Homes for Haiti booth, I looked around the room and several tables had our students serving as the sponsors.  All the other tables had adults running their booths but I was impressed by our students informing and promoting other area programs to help others.  This is the Sunday of our Thanksgiving break at 8 AM.  That is pretty great for teenagers.

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I work in a school where all the graduating Seniors give Senior speeches.  Most of the Seniors refer to the school community as their second family.   I do spend a lot of time during school and outside of school with my students.  I truly find my students engaging, funny, intelligent, talented, and kind people.  They are people I am proud to know and claim as mine.

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I am thankful for my school family and the positive influence they make on the larger community.  Well done!  For the record we raised $390.00 for the Clinton Haiti Relief Fund while we had some fun.

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