Click here for grade-specific Summer Letters and School Supply Lists.
Hello ArtSpace Families,
I hope this letter finds you all enjoying your summer!
As always, there have been many great things happening here at ArtSpace during this break. In addition to several awesome camps and trainings here, our custodial staff and volunteers have been busy deep cleaning and painting the building. Improvement projects this summer include renovations to the south wing boy’s bathroom, installing a water fountain on the field, adding netting to the fence along the field and many, many more!
As the summer progresses, the Asheville Design Center has been busy analyzing stakeholder feedback from students, staff, parents and Board members to develop a deep understanding of what our community needs and wants for our campus. They have begun work on our master plan and we can hardly wait to see what they come up with. Mark your calendars for a stakeholders meeting on Friday, August 28th at 8:15. We hope many of you will be able to attend this meeting, catching a “first glance” at this important work.
This year you will note there is a substantial amount of transition with our staff. At first glance it might seem concerning that several staff members are leaving ArtSpace, but as you will see many of our departing staff are leaving in pursuit of personal goals, dreams and to support family. We always hate to see our colleagues leave our ArtSpace community, but we are happy to see each of them move forward and continue to grow.
Fortunately, there is always a long line of outstanding teachers eager to be a part of this innovative and caring community. We have hired some amazing individuals who are top-notch educators, and I am looking forward to all that they will bring to our school. I am excited to tell you about these new staff members and about returning staff members who will be assuming new roles this year.
Ms. Hollis McKeown, who has taught 3rd grade here are ArtSpace for six years, will now be our Assistant Director for grades K-4. You will still see Dr. Cheryl Frey, who was formerly in this position, around through the fall as she will be mentoring Ms. Hollis and covering the position while Ms. Hollis is on maternity leave. We are so fortunate that Dr. Cheryl is willing to slowly transition into her retirement and share her talents and skills with us for a few more months.
Mr. Jack Manning is moving to the eastern side of our state to be closer to family. Mr. Jack served in many roles here at ArtSpace growing professionally as he moved from AfterCare, to Teacher Assistant to EC Teacher. You will be missed Mr. Jack. Mr. Eric Florence will be our new EC Teacher, working with students in our Intensive Intervention (II) Classroom. Mr. Eric has many years of EC Teaching experience in both McDowell and Buncombe County and lots of great experience in outdoor education. After many years in Kindergarten, Ms. Tara Reese will be moving to the
II Classroom this year bringing her wealth of skills and talents to this classroom. We expect great things from this new Team!
First grade teacher Ms. Jill Fine will be moving to Raleigh to be closer to family. We are sad to see her go and are so grateful to her for her five years of service to ArtSpace. Ms. Claire Spence will be moving from kindergarten to first grade; a transition that’s certain to be smooth as Ms. Claire is quite an expert in the area of early childhood education.
We welcome Ms. Andrea Giglitto to ArtSpace as our new Kindergarten teacher. Andrea is a National Board Certified Teacher with many years of teaching experience. Ms. Heidi Blozan will join the Kindergarten team as their teaching assistant this year. Ms. Heidi is a licensed teacher with many years of experience including Montessori education. Joining Ms. Andrea and Ms. Rebekah, we know this is going to be a great team!
Ms. Amy McDuffie will transition from teaching assist to Student Support Coordinator this year and Ms. Elise Fuller will move from third grade to second grade teaching assistant.
Thank you to Ms. Diane Silver for her work as the Interim 6th grade Math and Science Teacher this past year. Ms. Lyn VanOver will be moving from third grade to 6th grade this year. Ms. Lyn is energized by the idea of teaching math and science exclusively, as these are two of her passions!
Welcome to Ms. Melissa Redden who will join the third grade team. Melissa has taught third grade for 8 years and is excited about working in an environment where arts integration is promoted and supported. Ms. Bri Harnish will be moving from fourth grade math and science to third grade and she’s excited about the opportunity to teach all the subjects. Also joining the third grade team to support as teaching assistant is Ms. Julie Williams. Ms. Julie is a familiar face at ArtSpace having been an AmeriCorps Volunteer and substitute teacher here. Welcome back Ms. Julie!
Joining our fourth grade team is Ms. Victoria Baxter who recently moved here from Raleigh. Ms. Victoria has 6 years of teaching experience in elementary and a recently acquired Master’s Degree in reading. Also joining the 4th grade team is Mr. Chris Williams who will be the team’s teaching assistant. Mr. Chris has many years of experience working with youth.
Ms. Joie West will be leaving ArtSpace to pursue a dream of teaching English in a foreign country. Good luck Ms. Joie. We are going to miss you.
We are sad to see two of our north wing teaching assistants leave. We wish Ms. Emily Auman well as she sets off to be married and start her new life in California this summer, and we wish Ms. Anne Martin well at her new employment. Mr. Clay will be moving from the II Classroom to join the 5th grade team as their teaching assistant and he will also continue to offer his talents to the EC team as well. Ms. Sue Levinsky will once again support the 6th grade team as their teaching assistant.
Ms. Catrina Dillard will be our new Art Teacher. Ms. Catrina taught art for many years in the Atlanta area and has also been an Environmental Educator. We are so excited she will be joining our Arts Integration Team. Ms. Blythe Brown who served as our Interim Art Teacher this past year, will be returning to her hometown in South Carolina. Thank you Ms. Brown for your great work and a successful first year of teaching!
And finally, our beloved Mr. Chris Larson, who started at ArtSpace during his student teaching, taught 3rd grade and kindergarten, and most recently supported students as our Behavior Specialist, is moving to Indiana. Mr. Chris and his family will be pursuing their dreams of being organic farmers. You will be missed by many Mr. Chris.
It is certainly sad to see so many of our colleagues leave, but I am also truly excited about all these new folks and new positions. I believe they will all contribute to a wonderful 2015-2016 school year. Please join me welcoming all of them.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you at Meet the Teacher and Registration Night on Wednesday, August 12th (drop in, 4:00-6:00) and can’t wait to start another awesome school year at ArtSpace!
ArtSpace Charter School