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St. Mary’s High School to expand fine arts course offerings

05/20/2022 | Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS. With the end of each school year comes excitement and bittersweet goodbyes, and the end of the 2021-2022 school is no exception. For St. Mary’s High School, the end of this year brings some new courses for students to look forward to next year, as well the retirement of some longstanding faculty members.

St. Mary’s fine arts program will expand next year with the addition of two new art classes, 3-D Art and the Business of Art; a new choir class; and the return of theater as a credit course. Additionally, three new English electives — Children’s Literature, Creative Writing, and Film as Literature — will be added, as will a Spanish Heritage course. Also returning next year will be print and broadcast journalism courses and personal finance, both of which were new for the 2021-2022 school year.

 Students who enjoy ceramics or sculpture will have another creative opportunity with the 3-D Art course. In 3-D Art, student artists will explore constructive art forms including wire sculpture, additive and subtractive sculpture and working clay. Media used could include altered books, electrical wire, wood, and some found materials. The Business of Art will include an overview of the various jobs that are associated with the art world and will have students working in groups to design business strategies that will be presented to their peers and their teacher.

Principal Robyn Cross is working to build a strong fine arts program. “Building an appreciation for the arts involves providing opportunities for students to experience, participate, and learn about all forms of art as it relates to our world today,” she said.

Film as Literature will use both movies based on books and original screenplays to teach the intricacies of character development, symbolism, plot development, rhetorical devices, and cinematography as they create meaning in film. Creative Writing will explore journaling, poetry, and short stories, both through practice and studying examples of great literature by known authors. Children’s Literature will analyze the writings of famous children’s authors.

Spanish Heritage is a course for both students from Spanish-speaking heritages, who can write and Spanish, and those who are not from Spanish-speaking heritages but are fluent in Spanish and interested in Hispanic culture. The course will cover different topics related to the Hispanic culture and will include writing essays and speeches in Spanish, learning cultural expressions, and creating a digital magazine.

While these new course offerings bring excitement about the coming year, the St. Mary’s campus won’t be the same since some long-time faculty members are moving on next year. The following is the list of departing faculty and their years of service: Science Department chair Kathy Hanshew, 45 years; facilities manager J.T. Joyce, 30 years; counselor Mike Biondini, 21 years; Nora Frederick, 16 years; English teacher Kim Will, 10 years total; history and French teacher Holly Taylor, eight years total; Cathy Hanson, three-and-a-half years total; and first-year St. Mary’s teachers Dr. Justin Rufa, Theresa Ward, Dr. Pat Mills and Amy Partain.

For those who are retiring, St. Mary’s wishes you relaxation; for those who are moving on, we wish you the best of luck.

(Amy G. Partain is director of communications for St. Mary’s High School.

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