The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

The student news site of Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin.

The Highlander Online

Studio 606 welcomes long-term sub

Tori Johnston
Studio 606 sits silently awaiting the students of Gina Ruskalski’s fourth hour ceramics class to file in.

Seven tables formed in a U-shape hold the students of Gina Ruchalski, art teacher’s, fourth hour ceramics class. Students of all levels sit in a comfortable silence as they work diligently on their pottery projects. Tall shelves line the entire far wall of the studio stacked full of different supplies and past ceramics projects that sit proudly like a trophy for all to see. Six potters’ wheels creak quietly in the opposite corner, metal still shining despite the layers of clay caked on. At the
front center of the room, Lauren Courter, substitute teacher, sits at a wooden desk. Ruchalski is nowhere to be seen, yet the young substitute has more to offer than would be typically expected.

Courter took over as a long-term substitute on April 15 just as Ruchalski left for maternity leave. Courter graduated in December from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in art education.

Courter praises her alma mater for expanding her experience. “It’s a very specialized degree and UW Milwaukee has a really great program for itwhere they get you very involved in different schools,” Courter remarks.

Despite the fact that Courter left college with an art degree, she never thought that would be the path she would take. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I didn’t want to go to college at all honestly. I wanted to join the peace corps and travel and gain those experiences. But my mom kinda forced me to go to college, and I’m glad she did because who knows where I would be now and I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do,” Courter says.

Courter hopes to continue to teach high school students and feels that she has already seen very strong pieces in the short timeshe has managing ceramics studio.

Cali Schloerke, junior and AP ceramist, has been taking ceramics classes since the second trimester of her sophomore year. Since being in AP ceramics, Schloerke has challenged herself with multiple high-level projects. “For my inquiry question it was about one thing you want to work on. I wanted to work on multiple things, especially sculptures. So I left my inquiry
question and went to sculptures to challenge myself because everything else I made was easy,” Schloerke explains.

Before Ruchalski left, she had given Schloerke the challenge of sculpting a head, which is something she had never done before. “She’s helped me a lot, she’s a good teacher. Only because of the head I’m worried,” Schloerke expressed when asked about her feelings on Ruchalski’s leave of absence. While her mentor is now gone, Schloerke has been able to garner
advice from Courter who has a strong understanding of sculpture and the human form.

Katrin Hustedde, drawing and digital art teacher, expressed her excitement of welcoming Courter as a long term substitute. “We’ve not had a younger student teacher or sub for quite some time! It’s nice to have a fresh perspective and ideas coming in from the outside,” Hustedde remarked.

Hustedde continued with offering her perspective on how Courter can gain some experience from this position. “Ms. Ruchalski is incredibly thorough and organized. Ms. Courter will be able to take her lesson structure and run with it! The third trimester classes are lovely and I think this is a fantastic work experience for any art teacher fresh out of student teaching,”
Hustedde said.

Courter will continue in her current position until the end of the school year. She hopes to find a permanent position soon working with high schoolers where she can have her own studio.

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About the Contributor
Tori Johnston
Tori Johnston, Staffer
Tori Johnston is a senior at Homestead High School. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, and thrifting. She is excited to be taking Publications as she has an interest in literature and journalism.

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