Heather, as I’m reading through the questions on the “Join or Start a Conversation” this one struck me as especially important. Unlike many educators in the arts, I didn’t have much experience in my preferred art discipline (visual arts) in my education 1st through 12th grade. (Hard to imagine that kindergarten was not required when I was 5….it was so long ago.) I only had a smattering of art in elementary school and a semester of visual art in 7th grade. When I returned to college as a young mother I had to chose a major. It was at that point that I recalled the only subject in school that had touched my heart and brought the core of me alive was art. I simply didn’t recall that sort of inner-response to any other subject. I decided then at age 22 to dedicate my training to bringing that alive in youngsters the same way it happened for me. (Of course, you can imagine how hard I had to work getting up to speed when I didn’t have any art in high school. I couldn’t hide that I was a novice for the longest time but I made it.) To this day, I cherish letters and notes from my students….most recently they come through Facebook….that tell me that the art they experienced in my classes sparked their sense of self like it did for me.