Art Helps Draw Better Students

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After several years of not having classroom art in all of the Geona-Kingston schools, there has been a major change for the 2019-2020 school year. Due to the economic downturn in past years, Art was removed from the Junior High School and middle school classrooms but was retained at the High School. Then, three years ago, the new Education Based Funding Model was adopted by the state of Illinois, which resulted in increased revenue at the state level, and thus allowed the school board to re-introduce art instruction at every level for every student. The school board agreed to re-implement the program this Fall.

After the encouragement of many parents, the Genoa-Kingston School District 424 has hired two new art teachers to make sure art was available to all levels in the district.

Beginning this school year, Laura Hulseberg will step-in as the art instructor at Genoa-Kingston Middle School, and Alissa Magoch will head art at Genoa Elementary School and Kingston Elementary School.

Alissa Magoch

Magoch, a 2007 graduate of GKHS who specializes in drawing and make-up special effects, said she’s looking forward to introducing art education to the district’s youngest students—getting them to think creatively and try new things with nontraditional materials.

Laura Hulseberg will be the new art teacher at Geona Kingston Middle School. She brings an extensive background in various art educations for younger school students.

Laura Hulseberg

District 424 Superintendent Brent O’Daniell said, “I am thrilled the new instructors will enrich the district’s mission of educating the ‘whole child’—which includes art. Fine arts education is a key component of doing this successfully.”

The US Department of Education is tackling this lack of support of art, music and the humanities in many of the American School Districts. Students involved in art and music become better learners. New research points to a technique that can help such students retain the information they’ve been taught, and perhaps even teach creative problem-solving skills to some of the more motivated students. It finds that class lessons stick better in kids’ memories when arts and music are integrated into the curriculum.

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