• Miss Knapek


    High School art teacher Renae Knapek hopes to help use art as a way to encourage students to write. Renae got the idea after attending the week-long Arts Education Collaborative Leadership Academy at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The seminar's major goal was for participants to come up with, and implement an action plan that focuses on an identified school or district need.


    Renae is planning a staff development session at the High School for any teacher from any discipline to learn how to use art in the classroom. For example, a history teacher discussing the American Civil War could use a painting or photo of the war to help spark a students creativity in order to help them put their ideas down on paper. Renae believes its much easier for students to write if they have something visual to use as a jumping off point.


    All students need to be able to write better, and using art can help them think more critically and add more detail to their work, Renae said. It gives them a new way to look at writing and the arts. The art teacher stresses the importance of art in everyday life, and she said most students dont realize how often they come into contact with art, from paintings and photographs, to the designs on their iPods.


    Renae said the seminar also gave her a chance to have a creative outlet to be a teacher and an artist. It was the best staff development I have ever been through, she said. Renae received a scholarship to attend the academy, which included a number of presenters from local universities and organizations.