April 23, 2018
Dear LoMA Family,
In addition to seeing wonderful performances by our students at out Talent Show last week, I also had the opportunity to see Ms. Bailey dance with her company at the Fashion Institute of Technology as part of an International Arts Concert. Seeing her joyously swing to tunes from the 1920’s was a real treat and reminded me of how many of our staff at LoMA use the arts to enrich their lives outside of school. Here is what some of them say about that:
- Ms. Garfield used to be an actress and has performed around the world, including the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her experience in drama informs how she views the people around her as characters in the same show, and every day she tries to make that show a hit.
- Mr. Fry has acted in commercial work, off-Broadway, and on television. As a teacher, he explains, he plays a role each day that is different from his weekend persona. He must also know his lines (the lesson) and know what he wants to get out of his students. Playing drums has taught him how to juggle multiple tasks at the same time, think abstractly, and exercise different parts of his brain.
- Renae has many talents; she sculpts, plays violin in an orchestra and tap dances. She says that her work as a sculptor and musician deepens her ability to see and hear, while dance informs her ability to notice how people communicate through their body
- Mr. Lopez has acted in commercials; he is also known to clown around as a clown. He says, “I’ve always used the creative energy in drama class to create a bond with our amazing young individuals. That connection furthers the relationship that goes beyond expression and scene work. Thanks to these experiences and administrative and peer support, guidance, and everyday learning, I realize that it's about that ONE person we touch, guide, help, etc. on a daily basis (sometimes hourly). It’s all about the students!”
- Ms. Pierre is a trained classical guitarist and sings in a band. She is also a songwriter for different artists and completed an album. Her work as a songwriter of various genres has allowed her to connect and communicate with students who come from different backgrounds.
- Mr. Stillman has stage-managed plays and studied theater abroad. The arts helped him appreciate the value of storytelling in what is said and how it is said.
- Ms. Terzis creates collages and paintings are inspired by what she sees in the city. She believes her art makes her a better / more interesting teacher because it forces her to see things from multiple perspectives and angles. It also reminds me that people are complex and wear many different hats. As both a teacher and artist, she recognizes that her students may also have amazing talents and interests that make them who they are.
- Mr. M has acted for thirteen years with the Sea View Theater Company on Staten Island. It has taught him how to adapt on-the-fly to the unexpected in front of a live audience, an important skill for any teacher or paraprofessional.
- Mr. D. has been creating art to explore themes of autism and synesthesia for the last couple of years.
Other staff members also have artistic talent: Murphy, our basketball coach, makes films; Otis, who keeps our school clean, is an internationally-famous DJ and does amazing graphic arts, and Holly writes plays. What a talented staff. I know from working with them that their artistic experience makes them creative problem solvers, and fills them with positive energy compassionate understanding.