Art, the Final Frontier

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by Kesley Gilbert

With a stack of art projects to the left of her, Ms. Sara Kirk writes down grades for her first year of
teaching. Paintbrushes by the sink, markers filling bins in the cupboard, and students leaning over white pieces of papers: Kirk knows she got into the right profession by being the new art teacher at PCM High School.
Kirk teaches Design 1 and 2, Painting 1 and 2, Sculpture, Ceramics 1 and 2, and Independent Study. Some of the projects she will be having her students do are sculptures, clay masks, painting opaque self portraits, and with many more. She is also excited for her independent study classes to build great portfolios with their work.
The artistic teacher chose PCM because of the good things she’d heard about the district and because of other teachers she knew who already taught here and enjoy working at the school.
“So far I really like it, and all my students really like it. They are all so excited to be here,” Kirk said, when asked about her thoughts after just the first few weeks of school.
Kirk was raised in Knoxville Iowa, where she attended Knoxville High School and graduated in 2004. She then went on to the University of Iowa to get her BFA in photography and drawing, graduating from there in 2008. In 2013, she got her master’s degree from Drake for education.
“I hope to help students to be able to get them more excited about art. I want to help develop their skills for students who aren’t sure about their artistic abilities or don’t really like it. I’d also like to show them some different things, and maybe they’ll discover that they do like art and they didn’t even know it,” Kirk said.
When not teaching, Kirk enjoys watching a lot of baseball, obsessing over the St. Louis Cardinals, bowling in her bowling league, watching live music and enjoying her favorite Mexican food. She grew up with her two twin brothers who are in the Air Force, and three step brothers. She has a nephew who is one and a dog named Clarence.
“It took a long time for me to decide to be an art teacher, but I really like art and working with people. I love to see others get really excited when they realize they can do something that they never believed they could do at all.”