Nurturing creativity at Park City Day School
According to Tess Miner-Farra, Park City Day School associate head of school, nurturing creativity in students is a priority.
Nine middle-school students were recognized earlier this month in this year’s Western Region Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including three "Golden Key" awards that earned those students entry into the national competition.
Karly Moore, an eighth-grader at the school, earned a silver medal for her untitled photograph – one of just five students from Utah and the only middle-school student from the state to be recognized. Moore will travel to New York City in May to accept her award in person at Carnegie Hall as part of the 90th anniversary of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
In addition, three PCDS elementary students were among just 150 entries nation-wide selected to be included in the 16th Annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition. Ceramic pieces created by Katherine Sexton – 2nd grade, Casey Roberts – 3rd grade and Colter Cheney-Seymour – 4th grade, were selected from over 1,000 entries by the show’s judge, ceramic artist Anne Currier.
Since 1923, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have recognized the vision of the nation’s youth, and provide a singular opportunity for students to be noticed for their creative talents. Students’ submissions are judged by talented leaders in the fields of art and literature, looking for works that best exemplify the Awards’ core values: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal voice or vision.
"While school art programs around the country are becoming increasingly marginalized as a result of tighter educational budgets, PCDS has invested over $100,000 in facility improvements to create a state-of-the-art Visual Arts Center, where students of all ages get to experience painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, sculpture and ceramics in year-long art courses," said Miner-Farra.
Led by teachers Lindsay Wellman and Susan Parker – practicing artists themselves – PCDS students often draw upon themes and topics from across the curriculum to extend their understanding and draw connections.
Creativity has applications across the curriculum at PCDS, where students are challenged to develop creative expression, create problem-solving, and creative application of skills learned in one academic area to projects or activities in another, Miner-Farra added.
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Debate continues about schooling in a pandemic, as Park City students petition to stay in school, 78% of secondary teachers opt for remote, and case numbers remain low ahead of a feared post-Thanksgiving spike.