A Growing Portfolio
How three schools are making a way for their students’ artistic interests
Story & Photographs by Claire Schaper
The Rise School
The Rise School allows and advocates for hands-on education in an all-encompassing setting. This means that students across the spectrum — gifted, traditional, and developmentally delayed learners — are all ensured the highest-quality early-childhood education. In this environment, art is incorporated throughout every subject and the school’s teachers push their students to use all five senses in the process of creating.
“We definitely want to make sure we are giving kids praise. Hard work and the process is more important than the product.”
— Jacqueline Ortiz, Teacher
Magnolia Montessori for All
Magnolia Montessori for All is a high-achieving and free Montessori school that serves children ages three through 12. The school’s educators all work to create an environment where kids can take learning and creativity into their own hands. Magnolia, a public charter school, takes pride in bringing an authentic Montessori education to the many families that are a part of its East Austin community.
Sixth grader Nora Ambrosetti explains that she is constantly coming up with characters in her head that she wants to sketch. She stops what she is doing and is able to put the idea to paper. She’s able to learn at her own pace while still pursuing her creative interests.
“School is awesome, because if you have an idea, as long as you’re not in a lesson or activity, you can actually stop what you are doing and draw your idea.” — Nora Ambrosetti, 11
Ann Richards School for Young
The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a school whose vision was shaped by the legendary former Texas governor, teaches students to be supporters for themselves and their community. The public school serves grades six through 12 and is an Austin Independent School District campus dedicated to teaching young women to lead with courage and compassion.
In mid-September, senior Ashwara Pillai held her first art exhibit, where she showed mixed-medium canvases composed over the past two years. Pillai credits the school for the drive and determination it took to put on her exhibit and encouraging her to take charge in creating a name for herself.
“Art is a form of expression, and you don’t have to be like everyone else. Do what you want to do and don’t follow anyone else.”
— Ashwara Pillai, 16