Tag Archives: Interact Club

QACHS Art Teacher Helps Students Express Themselves While Learning

By Avra Sullivan

Many people are afraid of art because they think they don’t have artistic talent or that art is difficult to understand. Queen Anne’s County High School art teacher Stephanie Zeiler is working to change that perception with her students. “Art can be very personal, and I try to encourage students to express their own personality through their work,” says Stephanie who is in her 16th year at QACHS and also serves as the Department Coordinator and County Lead Teacher for the Visual Arts.

Stephanie says that as far back as she can remember she’s enjoyed drawing and painting. A middle school teacher encouraged her to follow her passion, and she went on to receive her degree in Art Education, knowing she wanted to pass on the joy of this craft to others.

Over the years Stephanie says she has seen the art department at Queen Anne’s expand. In Maryland students are required to take one fine art credit; however, Queen Anne’s County has a county-wide initiative to have 70% of students take additional classes, and it’s working. While Stephanie can teach the techniques behind drawing, painting or ceramics, she encourages students to evaluate their own work. Using a conversation style teaching method and open-ended questions, she encourages and supports her students while “challenging and shaking up the their comfort zones.”

Stephanie has opened many new doors for students interested in visual arts. She currently teaches several classes in drawing and ceramics and enjoys integrating multi-media to explore textures and layers. Twice a year several students are selected to present their work at a reception held at the board of education building. The selected artists describe their work in front of teachers, administrators, the board and Superintendent Williams. The artwork then remains on display for six months.

Outside the school classroom, Stephanie is involved with the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council, and this past summer was a featured artist at their member’s best exhibit. During the exhibit she got to meet members of the community and to talk about her own artistic work, which often takes a back seat to her work in school. “A lot of what I do is related to school, and I do miss spending time on my own artistic work. I really have to learn to make time for both.” One way she hopes to accomplish this is with a small studio. Stephanie and a fellow artist are working on opening a space to be named “Painted Ladies” to teach as well as to provide local artists a venue in which to display their work.

Stephanie supports students in other ways not related to art. She is the junior advisor for the Interact Club, a service group for students, and is the assistant volleyball coach. Last year, Stephanie received the Character Counts Meritorious Award given by the QAC Character Counts Advisory Council, and in 2011 was a finalist for Teacher of the Year.

QACHS Interact Club

By Ashley Winterstein

QACHS Art Class Color Chart 2012 (300 x 400)The Interact Club at Queen Anne’s County High School has been gaining momentum in recent years under the guidance of Advisors Stephanie Zeiler and Robert Willis. The organization, sponsored by the Centreville Rotary, has its’ roots in service projects and a strong focus on developing good character.

Last school year, students were involved in a myriad of activities, serving both as volunteers at local events and devoted fundraisers for causes they feel are important.

Their fundraising efforts included a silent auction at Doc’s Riverside Grille in Centreville, a “Baskets of Hope” Fundraiser, and an all you can eat Flapjack Fundraiser Breakfast at the Applebee’s in Easton, where they were responsible for setting up, serving food, and then cleaning up the morning service.

Through events such as these, they were able to partner with numerous organizations close to home and abroad. They participated in a special game night at the Centreville Nursing Home, sponsored a food drive where the food was distributed from Our Mother of Sorrows Church, helped a former graduate travel overseas to assist in a well digging operation, and donated funds to Centreville Youth Ministry.

The Interact Club was also able to partner with Sanctuary for Kids to support orphanages in Nepal. The students chose to have their first International Project benefit other children of the world and felt that providing food, shelter, education, medicine, and love to the children who have been rescued from the child trafficking trade in Nepal would leave a lasting impact.

This year, the members have already volunteered at the local Artisan’s Festival and served food at the Wounded Warriors Dinner that was held at the Centreville American Legion.

They are currently finishing up the Operation Christmas Child Campaign, another international project, that sends shoe boxes full of things to children around the world during the holiday season.

As an avid supporter of the Character Counts! Program, Advisor Stephanie Zeiler also allows interns in her art classes to volunteer their time to help with projects. Last year, Dana Seman created dozens of poster-sized color charts that will be used to teach young students how colors can be used to represent their feelings.

Jacki Carter, Queen Anne’s County Positive Youth Development Coordinator, sees the value of clubs such as the Interact Club. She remarked, “The Interact Club and the Rotary are based on character. How we respond to our neighbors’ needs anywhere in this world defines our character values. The art class at Queen Anne’s County High School shows how our students can help character education at their front door. These color charts will help our character coaches’ presentations in promoting understanding of how our feelings are important in impacting our behavior.”

The Queen Anne’s County Character Counts! Advisory Council is excited about the many ways students are actively demonstrating their good character and using their talents to help others.

If you would like more information about the Queen Anne’s County High School Interact Club, please contact Stephanie Zeiler or Robert Willis at 410-758-0500. Please contact Jacki Carter at 410-758-6677 or jcarter @qac.org if have any questions about the Character Counts! Program in Queen Anne’s County.