Last week Healdsburg Junior High held its first Annual Creative Exhibition, showcasing the hard work and imagination of students from six different elective courses. Students, parents and teachers gathered at the multi-purpose room, where artwork lined the walls, robot obstacle courses took center stage and throwback songs like the Macarena were cued up by the effervescent Spanish teacher, Carlos Diaz. The six electives represented were Fine Arts, Recycled Arts, Robotics, Spanish, Leadership and Technology, and for each area students chose to display a piece of work they were most proud of from the current school year.

The Fine Arts display included collections from 50 students, who either drew or painted self-portraits, landscapes, animals and more. Taught by Sarina Rasp, each student included in their collection a brief description of why they chose the subject they did, the challenges they faced in the creative process and the message they wished to send with their art.

The Recycled Arts, taught by Lissa Beard, also included artist descriptions with each piece of artwork, but these students took their creativity into a different dimension. Some crafted vibrant, asymmetrical faces the likes of which Picasso would have been proud of, while others chose to work with cardboard and magazines to create woven baskets and a variety of whimsical sculptures each infused with personality.

Robotics, one of the programs funded by the Healdsburg Education Foundation, had a fleet of robots lined up at the starting line in the center of the gym, ready to participate in robot sumo wrestling and various tasks. Throughout the year students learned not only how to build individual robots, but also strove to think of new and innovative ways in which robotics might help humans in our day to day lives. This method of engaging students in critical thinking about how their creations might better society is one of the main reasons that their teacher, Patricia Murphy, recently won Teacher of the Year.

Carlos Diaz, the Spanish teacher, had on display the composition notebooks and posters that his students had put together and enthusiastically engaged with parents about their students’ achievements throughout the year.

The work of the Leadership class was on display not only in the gym, but also across campus. Lead by Jenean Bingham, these students were the champions of promoting school spirit and finding ways in which they could put their leadership skills to work in giving back to their community.

Last but not least, the Technology class had a slideshow where they presented examples of their work in coding, creating videos, podcasts and more. Their teacher, Kim Jaton, blends the creative process with a sound education in what it means to engage with technology today: the importance of internet safety, morals and ethics.

To view all of the students’ work, please visit the Healdsburg Education Foundation on Facebook, and check out the 2017 Creative Exhibition Album. HEF serves as the fundraising arm for the Healdsburg Unified School District.

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