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May 21, 2018
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Stillwater News

Eye on Stillwater: Get to know high school art teacher Miss Samantha Brennan

July 11, 2016 – Throughout the summer the Eye on Stillwater series will highlight those who help our students reach their full potential. It is a chance for the Stillwater community to get to know our teachers, administrators, and staff on a more personal level.

Miss Brennan didn’t go far after her 2008 graduation from Stillwater High School. She still lives in Stillwater, where she currently serves as an art teacher at her alma mater. Prior to working at Stillwater, Miss Brennan taught art at Norwich High School. At Stillwater, Miss Brennan coaches girls JV volleyball and serves as the Art Club advisor. Miss Brennan has earned an associate’s degree from Adirondack Community College, a bachelor’s degree with a major in art and a minor in education from University at Albany, and a master’s degree in art education from The Sage Colleges.

Learn more:Samantha Brennan

What do you like the most about working in the Stillwater Central District?

I have worked at a few schools and what I like the most about Stillwater is the people. We have a really great administrative staff, teachers, and students. It really makes a difference when you're sharing the school days with people who always make you smile and inspire you.

What do you like best about teaching in your current subject area?

The best part about teaching art is the creativity and freedom. Many subject areas don’t get to choose what they would like to teach. I am able to tailor my lessons to students’ interests and artistic ability. It’s fun to explore new lessons each year with the students and watch them grow.

What is your favorite event that happens at Stillwater?

I enjoy seeing the school plays because they always turn out so wonderful. The best part is watching the production come together and having so many teachers, parents, and students work together.

What is your favorite memory from teaching at Stillwater?

My favorite memories are when one of my students wins a competition that my classes have participated in. It’s so great to celebrate hard work and dedication.

Tell us about one of your favorite projects? Why do you enjoy sharing this with your students?

My favorite project to do with all my classes is self-portraits. I enjoy this lesson because it not only shows off the students’ artistic ability, but who the students really are. You can tell a lot about someone if you ask them to draw themselves. You can see what they like and dislike about themselves. You can also understand a lot about their personality based on their line making and craftsmanship.

What made you want to become a teacher?

I decided I wanted to be a teacher after I coached cheerleading for many years when I was in high school. I realized I was good at giving directions and developing routines to teach. I also liked working with children and their parents.

If you could teach a different subject area, what would it be and why?

I would be a gym teacher because I love health and fitness.

When you were in high school, what did you want to be when you “grew up?”

I wanted to be a shoe designer, or an artist. My parents wanted me to be a nurse. Unfortunately I am horrible at science and can’t be around blood or needles.

What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?

I have had a lot of average jobs to pay my way through college, but my most interesting job was working at the Saratoga Race Course. I was an usher in the clubhouse. Working there I was able to meet a lot of famous people and interesting people from all over the world. I also became really good friends with the jockeys and got to learn a lot about the horses.

What would your students be surprised to know about you?

My students would not believe that I am addicted to working out at Metabolic Meltdown in Clifton Park. It is a type of cross fit training and it is very fun!

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I love to do anything as long as I am moving around. I will do anything from hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing…to anything as simple as walking around town. I feel best when I am active.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

I would pay off all my families bills, pay for my sisters to go to college, buy myself a small house, and then travel world for a year.

What are the top three items on your “bucket list?”

1. Visit almost every country in the world
2. Adopt a child from Haiti.
3. Make a difference in the world.

What are your favorite sports teams?

I like the Yankees and the Saints.

What are your plans for summer?

I am traveling to Amsterdam to see family! I am also going to visit Belgium, Paris, and London. I want to eat all the food and see all the art, and culture possible!

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