SchoolArts Room

The Difference One Teacher Can Make

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Mar 22, 2010

Most art teachers are the only art teachers in their school and some may feel alone at times and that they can't make much difference. But one teacher can make a huge difference - I know many art teachers who continually go far and beyond for their students and Samantha Melvin is one of those teachers.

I have gotten to know Samantha through TAEA and the Global Crutch Project (she is one of the founders). She also lives in the town in which my husband grew up (Burnet). She teaches art and music at the intermediate school there (a position she talked the school district into creating for her).

This past week I was in Burnet to deliver my school's decorated crutches and ended up helping out a little with a display she was hanging (literally, with fishing line).

She hung this huge exhibit during her spring break, hanging artwork from almost every 4th and 5th grader at her school. A local bank let her use a vacant building they owned on the square. Her students' work, hung in rainbow-ordered colors, completed filled the two large front windows. She even came up with a clever way to hang the work (one I plan to use, too). She taped fishing line on the two outside edges of the artwork, hanging six at a time, then hung those units from hooks above the windows.  She also made a very nice sign for the exhibit and managed to get an article in the paper about it, too.

So, my hat is off for Samantha and the difference she has made in one small town.