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as possible and maintain student interest, plays selected involve large ensemble casts and high-interest, important mes- sages in which students feel personally invested. Many students work behind the scenes in tech positions. While we do not produce a full musical, plays usually involve instrumental and vocal music ar- ranged and performed by students.

One advantage we have is a director with an extensive theatre background. She is active in community theatre groups, and those connections allow us to share re- sources like costumes, props and storage space. A teacher with limited background who is overwhelmed by a theatre program would be encouraged to seek help from other directors and community or college theatres.

Visual Art

“Sometimes you just have to watch some- body really love something before you can love it yourself. It’s as if they are showing you the way!” (Donald Miller – “Blue Like Jazz”) Our art department hopes to ignite our students’ creativity and inter- est in art this way – by really loving it themselves and letting students recognize that in them.

Some years ago, Art I, II, III and IV evolved into more specific classes – Intro to Art, Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, De- sign and Illustration, Art Studio and Junior High exploratory classes. As art enroll- ments increased, we added a second high school art teacher and expanded course offerings to include Computer Graphics, Digital Photography and Arts and Crafts. An extra-curricular Art Students Associa- tion is dedicated to school and community art awareness.

A senior art gallery was started in 1981. Seniors donate art works for permanent display in our hallways. These are used as examples for students in art classes. Current student artwork is continually displayed in our hallways. Visitors to our school often remark at the quality of the artwork, and are impressed that these works remain in excellent condition. Our students have developed respect for the

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works on display, and we have few prob- lems with damaged or defaced art.

Our teachers integrate art with other subjects and with the community. Small projects like taking poetry written in English class and illustrating that work in drawing and painting class, and larger projects like creating advertising posters for theatre productions provide wonder-

ful opportunities for students. Students design logos for community groups and businesses, often in a competitive format where they present their design ideas to the client, who selects a winning design. Students also enter regional, state and national competitions, and have received many awards in those competitions.

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