50th Anniversary Feature: BR Fine Arts–Same ol’ Heart and Soul

Jaelyn Phillips, Staff Writer

The Spartan Online will be publishing articles in celebration of Broad Run’s 50th Anniversary.  This is the first of that series.

50 years ago, a school was built on top of a cornfield. That school is Broad Run and it is very different today from when the school was first opened. For starters, there are no more trailers. Construction was done to extend the school to meet the growing number of students in it. One of the extensions to the building was a new music room.

Orchestra teacher Carrie Albers has been at Broad Run for 14 years now. She has been sharing a room with Jennifer Kauffmann, the chorus teacher also for 14 years. In fact, Albers has moved across the way from the music part of the Fine Arts department. And though she is a hallway away from Kauffmann and band teacher Ryan Dempsey, they all find a way to check in on one another. Teachers in the Fine Arts department are physically close to each other in the building, minus art teacher Deirdre Knight who is in the new wing of the school. Besides that, they are more like a big family who likes to encourage and sometimes embarrass one another. And they all have a common goal and love; to help and support their students.

Albers and Kauffmann are the two that have been a part of the Fine Arts for the longest, at 14 years. But, when you ask them all what their experience has been like teaching and working at Broad Run. It relates back to the students and the support from administration and one another.

“It has a very family vibe to it, and it always feels very child centered. Very much focused on the kids,” said Albers.

“People are mixing and sometimes my theater group gets isolated from the other groups of the school, and I want a mix there. I like collaboration. I like mixing people up,” says theater teacher Brandon Kalbaugh.

“ I like seeing their growth. It’s one of the few things in education where there is a definite beginning level, and see after a few years  a change. It’s super rewarding,” said band teacher, Dempsey).

They all are a part of the school, with not only teaching during the school hours. But, there is also the collaboration outside of school hours. Dempsey is a part of Marching band, jazz band, concert band, and many more. There is even a collaboration or interaction with other departments with the Fine Arts Department.

“Art students have had their works in the lit mag, which has been a nice collaborative to have work in print with creative writing works,”said Knight.

The Fine Arts Department also stays connected with other teachers and departments in the school. “I do like working with people that I work with. We all get along here, and that is not always the case. But, we do a great job  at Broad Run getting along and sharing all of the students,….and always celebrating each others successes,” said Kauffmann. She says that the departments, and teachers within the departments, congratulate and encourage one another.

That is the one thing that separates Broad Run from other school. In a best and worst times, we stick together like a family. We encourage our outlets, like playing the trumpet, sculpting, or even acting on a stage. We all encourage and choose to work with one another to better not only our school, but the students and teachers in it. Broad Run was built on a cornfield, and sure it is different from when it was first built. But it still has the heart , family, and soul that will never change.