Finding art in any subject is central to the teaching ethic of Rita Komara ’72, an art teacher at St. Michael’s School in Annandale, Va.
Teaching kindergarten through eighth grade requires her to shift gears all day—engaging the kindergarteners through storytelling and imagery, and challenging the older students to study proportions and create art with plaster.
After graduating from IUP with degrees in art and art education, Komara married her husband, Thomas, and the couple moved to Long Island, N.Y. In 1982, they moved to Northern Virginia, where Komara’s oldest child was enrolled in first grade at St. Michael’s. The school and the parish have been home ever since for her and her four children. Komara began teaching art at the school in 1990. She offers an after-school advanced art class once a week, and has helped rewrite the art curriculum guidelines for the diocese.
Komara stresses the importance of finding art in science, social studies, religion, math — virtually any other subject.
“I really firmly believe that when we’re in a school and we’re studying art, there needs to be integration,” Komara said. “We have art for art’s sake, certainly, but we can use what we learn in the elements of art and associate it with other studies.”
(Reprinted from “Art Teacher Sculpts Students into Children of God” in the Arlington Catholic Herald.)
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