(SURPRISE, Arizona)—As an art instructor at Arizona Charter Academy in Surprise, Kalen Davis teaches and inspires his students to create beautiful and interesting artwork.
Recently, Davis—who is also in charge of decorating and maintaining the many hallways throughout the high school—had a brainstorm while searching for poster ideas for his graphic design class.
“I noticed that Arizona Charter Academy had many unsung heroes among the school population and I thought it would be a great idea for those students to be recognized among their peers,” Davis said.
By creating posters that highlight some of the school’s exceptional students, Davis knew he could provide his students with a meaningful project that would also produce something tangible that could be displayed in the hallways of the school.
Davis asked staff members to submit names of students who they felt were exceptional in both their character and academic achievements. The staff then voted on who should be featured in the posters. In all, nine students were selected to be part of the project.
Standing in front of a banner that proclaims “I am a leader” the students were photographed individually along with a quote that is meaningful to them.
For example, in one poster, DaiSean Kirk is holding up a sign that features a quote from Michael Jordan that reads “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something but I can’t accept not trying.”
Stephani Olson, principal of the junior and senior high school, said Davis’s innovative project is a great example of how Arizona Charter Academy’s art program is promoting leadership and character.
“We are always looking for ways to recognize and honor the many students who serve as academic and social role models in our school, and Kalen’s ‘character poster’ project is a perfect way to do that,” she said.
“By creating eye-catching posters that feature their peers, I really think the students will be inspired and encouraged to do their best in school.”
Now that the nine posters have been printed, Davis said he is working on having them framed and mounted and on display for the 2012-2013 school year.
“I hope to have the future selected student leaders to serve alongside the student council in helping to improve student character, school spirit and culture.”