Kings County Arts in Action
May 2021 Edition
Brought To You By Kings County Office of Education
The "Why" of Arts Education
Arts teachers in Kings County were asked to share "why" they have chosen to be a teacher:
- Emily McCaslin, Art Teacher at Pioneer Middle School - "I choose to teach art because it makes it so easy to connect with my students. Different works of art bring out different emotions, thoughts, and conversations! When we all share our creations and our perspectives, the art naturally turns the classroom into a safe haven and a community."
- Rob Bentley, Music Teacher at Pioneer Middle School - "I have always known music in my life. At home, at school, at church. Music has always been there. Music and the arts open tremendous opportunities for humans for not only entertainment and travel but most importantly, self expression. It allows people to channel their complex feelings in a creative way. Channeling emotions into creative endeavors is an excellent way of dealing with emotional states. I truly believe in Hans Christian Andersen's quote, "Where words fail, music speaks." There is no higher reward in the music teaching profession than being able to witness students being able to express themselves musically."
- Megan Johnson, Art Teacher at Lemoore Middle College - "I chose art education as my profession for several reasons. For one, I am an artist and a child at heart. Working to foster art education within my community is a dream come true. I also consider myself a professional student, which is why I love being in a learning/growth mindset environment. My passion is creating. Sharing that passion in a classroom, as a teacher, allows me to interact daily with what makes me happy. Some of my favorite teachers growing up were the ones who enjoyed what they were teaching and had great passion for it. I want to be that teacher for my students. I want to inspire others and continue to grow as a person."
- Bill Wilkinson, Band Director at Hanford Elementary School District - "Growing up in south Hanford (Roosevelt School) I was a shy, overweight, and unconfident student; a fatal trio of traits for a child in school! But when I discovered band and began to improve on the trumpet it gained me much needed confidence and a positive self-identity. In addition to the self-improvement, I experienced through becoming competent on an instrument, I fell in love with the band experience, in a large part to the credit of my mentor, Lisa Butts, whom I took trumpet lessons from in high school. I decided early on in high school that I wanted to be a band director so that I could afford students the same betterment that I had experienced as a child. For a student to become successful they must discover and hone their inner greatness; that was my driving force to become a music teacher."
- Michelle Schofield, Band Director at Hanford Elementary School District - "I chose to work in arts education because I know from my own experience the impact the arts has on children. It is such an essential part of truly educating the whole child. The arts are a life-long journey that everyone can enjoy no matter what their physical or mental limitations may be as evidenced in our school programs. My music teachers throughout elementary, high school and college served as more than just teachers to me, but life-long mentors, friends and family. The impact they had on my life is significant and to be able to hopefully have that impact on others is a true gift. Music is such a powerful and essential part of our world and to be able to teach others to love it is truly special."
- Jim Rickard, Music Teacher at Neutra Elementary - "I was again reminded of my “why” today as I read a Thank You card from a parent, which said, “… music is one of those things…it helps your brain grow, provides a way to process emotion and allows for self expression…”. Seeing kids’ minds and talents grow, seeing them being able to express their emotions and share who they are, sometimes without needing any words, and seeing the pure joy on their faces, all make teaching music be one of the most rewarding experiences in my life."
- Brian Fraley, Art Teacher at Akers Elementary - "Many years ago when I was in high school, I had 3 wonderful art teachers at Lemoore High School. All I knew was that I loved to draw, but I didn’t know what to to with it. My mind was confused about the direction to go because art is defined in such a wide-ranging spectrum. Applying my interests to something that is not only pleasurable, but also profitable, is a very difficult prospect. One day, Mitch Carroll, one of my former art teachers, made an inspiring statement to me. He said, “You could be a very good art teacher.” I had never considered that and I put that on the shelf in my mind for future reference. In present day, I look back on my journey to art education which wasn’t easy, but has proven to be the best career choice for myself. Why? It was a teacher that inspired me to pursue this. As a teacher now, I can help students to direct their talents and interests in a positive and productive direction. I love to see the work of students. I love to help them value their work. I don’t do this for the thanks that they give, I do it for the satisfaction of knowing that I have given them an avenue for the expression of their creativity and ideas through visual arts. Some of them may have found the avenue to their career or a lifelong individual love for the arts."
- William Brauckman, Art Teacher at Hanford High - "I am an Art Teacher because I get to see young artists discover their talents and develop new skills. Every year I am amazed at the creative diversity and high levels of artistic expression. I get to work with clay every day and continue to also grow as an artist in a creative atmosphere. Being an Art Educator is highly rewarding and always full of surprises."
- Stephen Rotella, Drawing and Entertainment Design Teacher at Lemoore High - "I began teaching art because I know that in my own life, almost every opportunity I have had has initially stemmed from art. For example, in 2017 and 2018, selling a few pieces of art allowed me to travel overseas to participate in basketball camps and to see new places. Whether it is meeting new people, traveling to new places, or simply helping pay the bills, art has opened those doors. My hope is that I can cultivate talent in students so they are able to open up those opportunities for themselves as well in the future. "
Arts Education Throughout Kings County
LHS Arts Opportunities
Corcoran High Arts Projects
- Tessellation Project: Students read and answered questions about its history and Escher. Once the guided practice was completed and everyone grasped how the 3 techniques worked, students had to choose one technique (Translation, Rotation or Reflection) to execute their final artwork. Students gridded a 12"x18" paper by 3" to later transfer the desired design and color it. No color schemes were enforced and students selected the colors of their choice.
- Fresco Hearts Project: Students practiced getting the proportions correctly on a separate paper to familiarize with the subject and later transferred the idea on the plaster that was painted using watercolors.
- Michelangelo's David Project: Students practiced rendering David's torso, used black charcoal on white paper and later used white conte-crayon on black paper to study the forms and how value affects them with only one light source. Students ended up with 5 studies of David's torso and each using a different technique to execute the correct values.
- Artwork by Sarai Chavez
JC Montgomery Stories with Style
Liberty in Full Swing
The Liberty Middle School Music Department has been in full swing since the Lemoore Union Elementary School District started in August of 2020. During their 1st trimester, students participated in distance learning through platforms such as google classroom and zoom. They submitted assignments on a weekly basis and participated with traditional band instruments and voice for choir.
After the Lemoore Union Elementary School District returned to in-person instruction at the beginning of November, state health requirements did not allow for students to play wind instruments or sing in person. The music teachers and district collaborated quickly to come up with a plan to fill the void of music at the middle school. The decision was made to offer all music students the option of learning a percussion instrument or Ukulele. The district gladly supplied the extra equipment needed to get this new program started.
Liberty Middle School now has 70 ukulele players and 40 percussionists and are going strong. Liberty has always offered percussion as a secondary instrument through winter percussion, an extracurricular activity. Due to the popularity of the ukulele, they plan on keeping it as part of the curriculum even after health protocols go back to normal. They will feature their students' hard work at their Digital Spring Showcase that will be available in mid May.
During recent weeks, the Liberty Jazz Band has been able to start meeting again. These dedicated students meet everyday before school at 7:15am. Due to health regulations, the band does practice outdoors. However, through the forward thinking of the school district, proper PPE materials were purchased early so when students were allowed, they could continue playing again immediately. Every student is provided with an instrument bell cover and a special face mask made especially for band instruments. Through this unprecedented year, the Liberty Music Department is keeping music going no matter what!
Liberty Jazz Band Practices
Band Directors: Chris Morshead, Marcus Zellous, Chris Huebschle, Jon Alanzalon
Student Teacher: Amanda Ginn
Upcoming Liberty Middle School Spring Showcase Coming in Mid-May
Akers Illustrates Goodnight Captain Mama
Congressional Arts Contest
The Show Goes on at Hanford West
The Hanford West High School Musical Theatre production of "Regards to Broadway - A Musical Salute" will air three consecutive nights - May 12th, 13th, and 14th @ 7:00pm. Each night is a different show!
Here is the link to their trailer. https://youtu.be/BoTN0gmv_p4
The Hanford West High School Choir will also be posting new virtual performances on the HJUHSD Performing Arts YouTube Channel. Stay tuned for "Husky Summer Sing" events, when they'll be posting new virtual performances throughout the summer, starting the end of May!
Pioneer Middle School Band Prepares for Future Concerts
Woodrow Wilson Virtual Band Performance
Four Woodrow Wilson Band students recently participated in the 2021 California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Virtual Music Festival. The festival format, unique to our time in Covid distance learning, allowed for students to send in a video performance that will then be evaluated by a CMEA adjudicator. The event, presented by the CMEA Central Section, was organized by Rob Bentley, CMEA Central Section Festival Coordinator and Pioneer Middle School Band Director.
All four Woodrow Wilson band students are 8th graders, four-year members of the HESD Band Program, and all plan to continue playing in high school. Participating students include Oscar Luna (Bari Sax), Abel Ramirez (Tenor Sax), Brandon Vasquez (Alto Sax), and Xinyu Yang (Clarinet).
Hanford High Art Pieces
- Art 1 Self Portraits, Warhol Color Schemes, and Perspective drawings
- Ceramics pots, candle lanterns, and masks.
- AP Art painting.
- Art Club Homecoming display.