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I Am Seattle Center-Andy Bell

ANDY BELL, Teacher at The Center School speaks about the high school’s art focus, and the challenges one faces when designing an arts-based curriculum.  Mr. Bell is a student favorite, and has championed their cause since the beginning.

“The design team, the people who were originally thinking about having a school here, envisioned students coming in ninth grade and choosing an art track, in which they would then reach a certain mastery level by the time they graduated from high school. In addition to their normal high-school requirements, they would have an additional arts credit. All of their service learning would be towards that mastery and they would have internships with one of the constituent organizations on campus that would help them fine-tune that art focus. Then 9/11 happened. And that happened two days after the school started. The result of that was a lot of the constituent organizations here on campus weren’t able to really reach out because they were scrambling to keep themselves open. It was really hard to create those relationships. On top of that, it was really hard to convince the union and the school district to allow us to bring in artists-in-residents to teach courses, so that never materialized. We’ve been chipping away at that almost the whole time. We’re rebuilding a lot of those relationships, with a lot of these people on campus, but unfortunately it’s been a little slow going. In the meantime, we’ve fought really hard to keep an arts-focused high school in place, and a really accelerated, rigorous, college-prep focus and to continue to integrate those two things and to see them as inseparable.”  #IAmSeattleCenter #CenterSchool #ArtsinEducation #911 #collegeprep #CoolTeachers