New District Art Teacher Excited for Possibilities

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Carbon School District Press Release 

For Daniel Bear, it’s a dream come true. He has moved to a new town and get a new job that includes everything he likes to do.

What more could a person want?

Bear, who recently moved to Carbon County, has been hired to do art education with students throughout elementary schools in Carbon School District. For the district, it was the perfect hire.

“We were able to hire Daniel thorough a Beverly Taylor Sorenson grant for the arts learning program,” said Carbon District Superintendent Steve Carlsen. “At one time, the grant was a 50-50 match. Now, because of some help from the legislature, it will be a 80-20 match.”

Bear will be traveling from elementary school to elementary school in the district to help students with visual arts. A painter himself, he sees what art can do for students, particularly young ones.

Bear has always loved art. But, after attending Northwestern Community College in Wyoming and then the University of Wyoming, he decided initially on being a special education teacher. However, art was his love so he changed and received his degree in art education.

“As I looked at it, I wanted to do that instead, because of my love for it,” he said referring to his specialty of painting with wood being his canvas. “I chose to look at art as a base for kids from kindergarten through the 12th grade.”

For a few years, he and his wife lived in Deleware where his wife Kristi was earning a masters degree. He had the chance to visit many art museums, be connected to many art festivals in the east and get acquainted with artists in that region. He also spent a good deal of time substituting in schools there. After she finished school, she was hired by the NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) as a soils specialist in the Carbon County area.

A native of Powell, Wyoming, which is just outside of the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, Bear has experienced a lot of change geographically.

“I went from the mountains of Wyoming to the east coast and now to the desert,” he said. “It all takes a little getting used to.”

Bear’s range of creation based on his portfolio is great. Much of his art is of the outdoors, but he also can depict many other things including portraits such as his body of work called “Through Time,” a depiction of three different people at different times in their life.

According to the Utah State Board of Education, the Beverly Taylor Sorenson Arts Leaning Program (BTSAL) is a teaching partnership between highly qualified arts specialists and classroom teachers that has been incorporated in 130 Utah elementary schools. The arts specialist works collaboratively with the regular classroom teachers to deliver quality, sequential and developmental arts instruction in alignment with the state Fine Arts Core Curriculum. The program is bringing music, visual arts, dance and theater into the classroom. And, as the art form integrates with language arts, math, social studies and science, it is helping to reinforce the classroom core. Arts integration provides students with a deeper level of understanding in grade-level core content, and enriches the learning experience for both students and teachers.

Bear is excited to help start this program in the district. He said he hopes that it moves beyond just the visual arts one day to include other art disciplines.

“My plan is to introduce students to all kinds of visual arts, including painting, sculpture, etc. ” he said.

The time he is in any one school is dependent on the size of the school’s population because the grant is set up to help the maximum number of students.

“The time he spends in the schools is dependent on the size of the student body at each one,” said Carlsen. “He will work in blocks of time such as a couple of days or a week at a time in a school throughout the year.”

For an overview of the BTSAL program and what it can do for students, go to https://stream.schools.utah.gov/videoarchive/curriculum/AFWK_2013.mp4

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