Stories from Scott 2

Your story matters. You matter.

November 12, 2015

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SMS art teacher finds meaning in the details

When Brett Owen was in first-grade, she walked into her class’ career day with overalls on her body, a bright handkerchief tied around her neck, and a ball cap positioned sideways on her head. She was dressed as her dream career: an artist.

“I guess that’s how [my mom] thought an artist would dress!”, said Owen, who is now the art teacher at Scottsburg Middle School. “I’ve kept with art because I enjoy it, and it’s a big part of who I am. I can’t remember a time I haven’t loved art.”

Owen’s love for art blossomed as she began drawing portraits. She remembers drawing her first portrait of her grandmother.

“I was probably seven, and she was sick in bed. My aunt said that I just sat beside her and used a pen and notepad to sketch out all the details,” Owen said.

The portrait, which the family still owns, shows her grandmother and her grandmother’s room, complete with tissues beside her, a lamp on her nightstand, and the pattern of her shirt and quilt.

“I enjoy portraits because it causes you to look at the person more carefully. To me, it’s exciting to notice little details about them that I would otherwise miss,” Owen said. “I guess I’ve always enjoyed slowing down to notice the details around me.”

After Owen graduated from high school, her artwork was noticed even more when she entered college at Indiana University. Her painting was chosen to advertise the advanced painting course at IU Bloomington.

“I love oil paints, and I love painting portraits and nature,” Owen said.

She took her love of nature and art and painted a scene at Lake Monroe, where she and her husband witnessed a moment of celebration.

“My favorite piece was probably a scene I painted of Lake Monroe. There was a boat that got stuck in the shore, and five college kids helped to push it back out. They were all celebrating with their arms in the air, and the old couple on the boat were waving happily,” Owen said. “My husband took a picture of that moment, so I used it for a painting. I really liked the stormy sky and the colors in the water.”

Along with her love art and creating portraits, Owen has another detail about her life that only about 1 in 50 children share in the United States — she is a twin.

“Growing up as a twin, we were either best friends or enemies, depending on the day. There’s no one who can get under your skin quite like your twin, but that’s probably true for all siblings. However, it was nice to always have someone there,” Owen said.

Growing up, Owen always had someone to share her milestones, her day-to-day life experiences, and even her birthday.

With her fraternal twin by her side, Owen learned how to swim, learned how to drive a car, went to college together, and now, live in the same city. At random, they start talking about the same things, sharing a twin intuition, where they finish each other’s sentences or thoughts. And, sometimes, they are even mistaken for one another.

“We are fraternal, but we’ve been told we look pretty similar. My sister came to help at an art show at Corydon Elementary one year, and she was bombarded with kids yelling, ‘Mrs. Owen!’ Once they got a little closer, they looked a little confused and asked, ‘Mrs. Owen’s sister?’”, Owen said.

Despite spending their lives being completely intertwined, Owen and her sister differ on their careers. As a lifelong lover of art, Owen decided when she was in college that she wanted to be a teacher. She made this decision after spending time in the pool and giving swim lessons to children and adults.

“I used to give lessons to all age groups ranging from three to adults,” said Owen, who was student-athlete in cross-country and track during her years at Salem High School. “Once I realized I really liked working with kids and seeing them improve with swim lessons, I knew I wanted to add education to my degree.”

Now that Owen is a teacher, she loves her job at SMS. She loves her job so much that she drives more than 30 miles from home to work at Scott 2.

“The technology is pretty great, but most of all, I love the positive atmosphere,” Owen said. “I think the drive is well worth it because there are so many positives about SMS. Most of all, I love the positive atmosphere, the respectful students, and supportive staff and administration.”

Owen’s positive attitude and dedication to her work and to her students are what make the difference for hundreds of students at SMS. At Scott County School District 2, Owen’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.

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Music leads Justin Bromm back to the Classroom

Justin Bromm knows that sometimes your best-laid plans do not work out. But, for Bromm, the journey he took to be where he is right now has paid off in the smiles and in the joy of hundreds of children at Scott County School District 2.

“When I got the callback, I was very excited, and even more so once I started working with the children,” said Bromm, who is the elementary music aide for the four schools at SCSD2. “I fell in love with the job the first week.”

Before he became the elementary music aide and working alongside teacher Jena Hudson, Bromm had different plans for his life. His plan was to work in nuclear medicine technology.

“During middle school, I wanted to be a teacher. Starting high school, I wanted something more high tech, and my junior year, I found what I thought was my dream job, nuclear medicine technology. I set out from high school to pursue that career,” Bromm said. “I spent two years at [Indiana University Southeast], then transferred to [Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis] and was one of seven to get into the nuclear medicine program. I graduated the program with my bachelor’s degree.”

After college, Bromm applied for several jobs in Indiana and its surrounding states, but he was continually told he was overqualified.

“The only time I heard anything back was to say I was ‘overqualified’ and ‘they only wanted someone with an associate [degree] because they could not pay a bachelor’s [degree] wages.’ Yes. They literally said that to me,” Bromm said.

Discouraged, Bromm did not know what to do. He had a bachelor’s degree in his dream field and a past in music that his parents helped forge throughout his childhood.

“My parents inspired my music career since I was a baby,” Bromm said. “Ever since I was old enough to sit on my own, I sat [with] my mom on her piano bench and banged on the keys while she practiced. I started piano lessons at the age of 8, and then, started with Mrs. [Annette] Egeberg around the time of third grade. She trained me not only to play the piano but to sing with it.”

From piano, Bromm transitioned into the middle school band in the sixth grade. He began playing percussion instruments. In the seventh grade, Bromm said he was asked to join and help the high school marching band. He was in the band until he graduated high school.

Thinking of his past, Bromm’s mother encouraged him to return to music and apply for a job opening at Scott 2.

“I applied and went to the interview and made it clear that I would continue to seek employment in the nuclear field,” Bromm said. “Shortly after [starting at Scott 2], I remembered a recurring dream I had been having, where I was back in high school, and even though I graduated college, my high school counselor told me that there was a problem with my credits, and I had to spend another two years in high school to make my high school degree valid. I took this as a sign from God I was to stay here for two years and let him bring a job to me.”

After his recurring dream, Bromm stopped looking for jobs in nuclear medicine technology. Technologists in the field use a scanner to take images of a patient’s body, so physicians can make better a diagnosis and know how to better care for patients. The decision to stop looking for another job paid off.

“After the first year, I was granted full-time and allowed to work at all four schools,” Bromm said. “I’m now on my third year, and the dream has not seemed to come to anything, but that may be a good thing. Although there are some days I feel like pulling my hair out, I love all the children, and enjoy the job I get to do.”

Even though Bromm had plans to work in nuclear medicine technology when he was a student at Scottsburg High School, another dream — to be a teacher — from his time at Scottsburg Middle School came true.

“I have changed so much personally in the past three years, and I thank the kids for that change. I remember hearing teachers saying as I grew up that ‘you learn as much from your students as they do from you,’ and I believe that is true,” Bromm said.

While Bromm’s first choice in a career did not go as exactly as he planned, Bromm’s decision to return to music and teach a new generation of students what it means to love music. At Scott 2, Bromm’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.

Upcoming District Events

Events For Week Beginning Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Board MeetingTime: Starting 11/17/2015 at 6:00 PM
Event Groups: Event Groups: District Events,Board Meetings
Location: Scottsburg High School [Scott County School District 2]

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Vienna-Finley Picture RetakesTime: Starting 11/19/2015 and ending on 11/19/2015
Event Groups: Event Groups: Vienna-Finley Elementary Events
Location: Vienna-Finley Elementary

Friday, November 20, 2015

SMS DanceTime: Starting 11/20/2015
Event Groups: Event Groups: District Events,Scottsburg Middle School Events
Location: Scott County School District 2

Saturday, November 21, 2015 Events For Week Beginning Sunday, November 1, 2015