Morenci school fine arts programs flourishing 11.10.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

State education officials want to see collaboration between school and community, and Morenci’s fine arts programs are showing that very thing.

Music director Jamie DeVoe and art teacher Kym Ries told board of education members at the Nov. 1 meeting about collaborative efforts they’ve undertaken.

The arts programs are working individually and collaboratively to go beyond the classroom and meet certification goals.

DeVoe spoke about two field trips that gave students a broader cultural experience.

The high school band competed in a marching band festival in Grand Rapids which introduced members to a variety of larger marching band styles, including an Ohio school that competes at the national level.

Several art students also went to Grand Rapids to visit the Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Exhibits included work by Dale Chihuly and Andy Goldsworthy, both of whom were studied last year by art students. Students also toured the Grand Rapids ArtPrize event which featured artists from around the world.

Locally, Ries spoke of the collaborative efforts between the school and Stair Public Library. The programs help the school meet the state goal of interaction with the families of students.

“The library does amazing things to enrich, reinforce and remediate the programs we do here at school,” she said.

Library director Colleen Leddy obtained a grant and Ries was awarded a grant to create a program scheduled Saturday called “Picturing New York...in a tiny Midwest town.”

Artwork will be used to transform the library into a big city museum. Students have used urban themes in projects this fall for the program.

English teacher Heather Walker is using the New York-themed book, “The Great Gatsby,” and DeVoe’s music history class has studied the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 30s.

Middle school teacher Sally Kruger played a role in bringing New York City author Ned Vizzini back to Morenci. With this visit, Vizzini will discuss how one of his books was made into a movie.

DeVoe is encouraging his students to attend the performance by the Paul Keller Trio that will present New York tunes.

“They’ll actually get to see in real life what we talk about in class,” he said.

The unit covers four of nine state standards—all of the non-performing standards—DeVoe said.

Ries said she and DeVoe are seeking a proclamation from the board that establishes a partnership between Stair Public Library and Morenci Area Schools. She said it would be helpful for meeting state standards and for seeking grants.

“Thank you for supporting the arts,” she said in conclusion.

Establishing a relationship with the library has been discussed at the committee level, said Superintendent of Schools Mike Osborn, and the board would be proud to do it.

“This is exactly the kind of thing we’re trying to encourage in classrooms,” he added.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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