This week I had the privilege of honoring district art teacher Shelley Komrska with the Superintendent’s Showcase award at the monthly Board of Education meeting. This award is new this school year and gives me another opportunity to recognize students and staff members who are true examples of the #MariemontExperience.
Mrs. Komrska was honored with the award for her contributions to a cross-continental art show which she orchestrated along with an art teacher from Kharkiv, Ukraine. The exhibit was called USA & Ukraine: Every Day in my Country and featured 60 students from the Mariemont City School District and 60 students from Ukraine.
Each student illustrated what “every day” looked like to them. The pieces were meant to demonstrate the similarities and differences between growing up on opposite sides of the world. The exhibit was on display at the Barn in Mariemont for five days last September and all 120 pieces will shortly be traveling to Ukraine for a second showing in Kharkiv.
Just being selected for an art exhibit is a very cool accomplishment for any student, but to be considered for a show which has such a global influence is something the Mariemont City Schools students will certainly not forget any time soon.
We talk all the time about Destination 2026, our school district strategic plan, and how it is guiding the work we do in our classrooms. This art exhibit is a true testament to how our staff is incorporating this plan into their lessons.
The first line of our instructional vision is that Students will be global learners. I cannot think of a better way to demonstrate this point than a cross-continental art exhibit that literally takes students’ work across the globe. By studying the art pieces from Ukraine, our students got a firsthand look at what it is like to grow up in a different country.
Maybe they began to finally conceptualize just how big our world really is, and how different other cultures and customs can be. Or maybe they saw two side-by-side pictures of children jumping rope and realized that being a kid looks just about the same no matter where in this world you grow up.
Regardless of the takeaway, I am proud that our students were able to have this experience and take another step in the direction of being global learners. And I am grateful to Shelley Komrska and the rest of our art teachers for supporting the Destination 2026 strategic plan and for continually finding ways to work smart, create experience and embrace growth in our classrooms!