Student Nomination Story

I took Ceramics in tenth grade because I needed to get my visual arts course out of the way. I didn't know Ms. Pool and how she ran her class but I thought, hey, once this class is done, I get to take Journalism and chill for the rest of my high school career. I can't begin to explain how dumb I was to think for even a second that the class was simply a blow-off visual arts class. Ms. Pool was frank and told us that learning vocabulary would make everything more clear, but as we learned the basics, she encouraged me to put my wacky ideas on paper and be liberal with my designs. I don't consider myself the most creative spoon in the cupboard, but whether she knew it or not, Ms. Pool helped me realize that my ideas are worthwhile or at least intriguing enough to be given a second thought. I drew a bunch of Alice in Wonderland-inspired coil project ideas and multiple abstract slab project ideas after being reassured that "It doesn't have to be perfect." This might not seem like a big deal, but constant reassurance and reminders helped me feel content with my work. Art is very subjective because a rubric doesn't properly qualify what is good and bad, but as a generally math-loving mind, I need a straight answer or I go crazy. Being able to help me loosen up is a giant accomplishment. To understand how Ms. Pool has made a positive personal impact on me, you only need to look at the type of class she had and how she handled it. She had a class full of phone-loving students, but her patience seemed limitless. She gained the respect of all of the students and kept it throughout the year because she was understanding and patient as well as fun and, in general, a great teacher. Even students who tend to do no work finished their projects; she helped out anyone who asked for help, whether it be tips on how to sculpt a certain part of the piece or suggestions for what you can do for your next piece if you are out of ideas. I know I will never have the kind of patience she has, but she is a great role model, who sort of brightens the day of everyone she talks to. Even if I am not able to take another one of her classes in my senior year, she has inspired me to take another look at art, a subject I have always felt hopeless in because I lack confidence in my work. She makes art something truly anyone can try out and inspires me to push through bumps along the road, the way she was able to push past her lack of funds for all of her classes. Ms. Pool definitely deserves recognition for all the hard work she does to sustain our art department and provide for the education of hundreds of students.

Gaurangi Pradhan

I entered the AP Studio Art class with high hopes and expectations into a world expanding my knowledge about the art world. What Mrs. Pool has provided me was opportunities to exceed those expectations. After school whenever I had questions about my artwork and needed critique I would turn to her to provide me with ways on how to improve my piece to provoke the emotions I felt when creating it. One of the hardest moments I witnessed was the amount of devotion she would apply towards her overcrowded third-period class. Since there weren't enough students who wanted to sign up for AP Studio Art, so the school decided to merge her painting class with the AP class. How Mrs. Pool handled the intensity of having to teach two classes impresses me beyond ends as she had to adopt her curriculum while meeting the limited time provided for the period. When one of the students had to drop the class I felt the pain she was feeling due to the amount of investment she does for her AP class. The reason the student dropped was due to not accepting that her pieces didn't meet the expectations that an AP class requires and Mrs. Pool had tried to work with the student after school to help her improve but the student lacked regard towards the subject. The amount of initiative Mrs. Pool has towards students, even those who lack the desire amazes me. The faith and trust she has towards all her students inspire me to give it my all and when I collaborate with my classmates in Art class, to want their opinions on my works and to provide the same. Outside the classroom, Mrs. Pool wants to provide opportunities to all her students to see the beautiful art around the community. She went out of her way to seek field trips to three museums in the spring semester and the amount of paperwork and time she invested to get the grants and funds from outside the school to be able to make it possible. It displays the amount of love and dedication she has towards art and how much she wants to encourage her students to see it too. Being in AP Studio Art my character has developed into someone who wants to give their all whether it's in academics or when making new relationships with people. This class allowed me to want to develop my artistic skills as a photographer and take opportunities such as compete in photography competitions which I have done recently. Art has taken me to new opportunities that I never would've done before, I did pick up a camera every now and then but because of Mrs. Pool, I overuse my camera and display all the beauty and ugly that this world contains.

Alisson Ramos

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.