Seaford School District board room now includes student art showcase

By Lynn R. Parks

The Seaford School District board room isn't just for meetings anymore. It's now also a place where art is showcased.

And not just any art. The paintings that line the walls of the room are all by students in the Seaford School District.

The mini-museum is the brain child of Stephanie Smith, director of human resource development and public information, and Kelly Hageman, supervisor of instruction.

Smith had decorated the walls of the administrative building with overblown photographs of Seaford students but wasn't sure what to put on the board room walls. Hageman suggested the student art gallery idea.

Smith contacted art teachers in each of the district's six schools and asked them to submit one student work a month.

She purchased six art display frames and hung them on two walls in the board room, leaving a blank space for a single large painting.

Smith and Hageman searched the Internet for the perfect saying to describe the purpose behind the student gallery.

They found it in something that painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso once said: "Every child is an artist." His words are now written on a board room wall, beneath the word "Masterpieces."

For the first board room show, selected works are by Phoebe Francois, a second grader at West Seaford Elementary, Adilene Quezada-Castrejon, a third grader at Frederick Douglass Elementary, Jailynne Vidro-Daniels, a third grader at Blades Elementary, Alessia Motta, an eighth grader at the middle school, and Megan Messick, Rosa Torres and Cheyanne Nason, all Seaford High seniors. (There are no works from Central Elementary because students there were in intersession during the selection process.)

Cassidy Davis-Palmer, a senior at the high school, also had a work on display, but had to remove it for another show she is doing.

Nicole Carter is the art teacher at Seaford High. She said that the public display of student artwork is analogous to a high school sporting event.

"It means that the students get to share their talents with the community, just as kids who play football or soccer get to share with the community during a game," she said.

Public displays "help students promote what they do, and get feedback to make their work better."

The board room, located in the district offices at 399 North Market Street, is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 629-4587.

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