It’s not every day that students
receive a visit from state dignitaries; this week, the Kindergarten students of
George Buck School 94 enjoyed a visit from our First Lady Mrs. Karen Pence
an awesome art lesson!


George Buck Art teacher Morgan Besser orchestrated the visit
after meeting Governor Mike Pence and the First Lady by chance at a Colts game.
The Governor introduced himself to a group of teachers volunteering for Teachers’ Treasures that day;
Besser and Mrs. Pence quickly connected, as the First Lady shared that she
taught art for 25 years!


Mrs. Pence readily accepted Besser’s invitation to visit
George Buck, and volunteered to lead a special lesson for students. On Monday,
January 25, Mrs. Pence joined a Kindergarten class to create personalized
Cardinal drawings in celebration of our state bird. Students traced their hands
to create the body of the bird, then added legs, beaks, tree branches and snow
to complete an Indiana winter scene.


“I was an art teacher for many years,” Mrs. Pence told
students. “My favorite thing was seeing that when I gave an assignment, no two
projects looked exactly alike. I think that’s wonderful – each time you work on
a project it will be unique and special and different from any other project in
the room!”


Besser, a lifelong student of IPS who attended Key Learning
Community from Kindergarten through 12th Grade, says she is grateful
to be so well supported at George Buck by her colleagues and administrators,
and through her classroom budget. She also noted her excitement about a public
show of support for the arts from a notable state figure like Mrs. Pence.


“As a student at Key Learning
Community we were taught that we ALL had strengths and that every subject was
important, not just the subjects we would be tested on,” said Besser. “It is
important to me to see support from a [prominent person] such as First Lady
Pence because it reminds me that I am not only teaching standards but I am
encouraging those students who may not be ‘good’ at math or writing, to find
their own strengths and their own passion. As a special area teacher it is easy
to feel that my subject is forgotten and insignificant because of where the
emphasis in education is often put. It was a joy and an encouragement to see
First Lady Pence take time to interact with my class and to express that ART is
important too.”

We are grateful to have strong
support for the arts at the district level, too; Indianapolis was selected as
the Kennedy Center’s latest site for the
Child initiative, which provides support for increasing equitable
arts opportunities for K-8 students. You can find updates on our Community Arts
Team’s strategic planning process


Check out the impressive work of our George Buck
Kindergarten students in the photo


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