The new art teacher at Hoffmann Lane Elementary wanted to introduce himself to his students and their parents before the new school year started and decided that a rap video would surely do the trick. It did just that and more. It caught the eye of a local news station and was featured on its evening broadcast.
Adam Voglewede, “Mr. V.,” knew it was important to reach out to his new students and the community of HLES because when they left school in March, their art teacher, Carla Shipley, had been teaching for 16 years. When COVID-19 hit, they didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
“I heard so many wonderful stories about the tremendous impact Mrs. Shipley had made on the students, families and teachers,” said Voglewede, who is beginning his 12th year as a teacher, but his first year with Comal ISD. “This was both inspiring and intimidating at the same time, and I knew I had some big shoes to fill.”
No stranger to creating jingles, Voglewede set out to write a rap that not only introduces himself but lets the students see Shipley too.
“I chose to include her in my introduction video because I wanted to acknowledge her great legacy to the school’s art program and help bridge the transition from former teacher to new, in a time when so much is changing for our students.”
Shipley was happy to be a part of the video and share her programs and passion for teaching art with Voglewede.
“Art is my passion, and the students are my babies,” said Shipley, who has a medical condition which placed her at a high risk to return to the classroom. “I was happy to pass the torch to someone who will engage my kids in art. I think the video show his personality and his creativity.”
Shipley left a special message for her students and parents at the end of last year when she made her decision to not return. She reminded them to continue to create art and look for art in their daily lives.
Obviously, the two share a love for art and for teaching art to elementary students, and now they share a love for the same students. Both also made a pointe to emphasize the importance of art education.
“Art promotes creative thinking, enriches learning across the curriculum helps build social skills and language, and also encourages children to focus and listen,” Voglewede said. “Students learn to solve unique problems while making art, which is a valuable skill to have right now.
“Most of all, art promotes self-expression and teaches children that it’s OK to share emotions and feelings with others. In this way, art allows us to feel connected even though some of us can’t be together right now.”
-Carla Shipley and Adam Voglewede.
-Mr. Voglewede works with kindergarten student Dylan Janysek on his artwork during a recent day in class at Hoffmann Lane Elementary.