Q&A with Stacey Claytor: On Ensuring the Arts are a Hallmark at Carroll

Q: Describe your role as Director of Fine Arts at Carroll?

A: In addition to teaching choir and theater, I have the larger mission of ensuring that the arts at Carroll are a hallmark of the school. Right now, that means I coordinate with the band and visual arts directors to ensure that we are providing the most comprehensive curriculum for our students. Over the long term, I will work to strengthen Carroll’s ties to fine arts organizations in the area, and I am particularly excited about growing a dance education curriculum.

Q: Why did you choose a career in fine arts education?

A: It sounds so cheesy, but it’s what I was born to do. Since I was a kid, I participated in plays and musicals. My dad nicknamed me “Front Row Center” even when I was really little. It’s been a great journey for me. The arts have given me breath and life, and a vessel through which to communicate the gifts God has given me.

Q: This is your first year at Carroll, so what has the process been like to get to know the school and the students?

A: I was greeted with so much warmth, love, respect and joy that it made it easy to step into this new role. The kids were eager to get to work.

Q: What do you like most about your job so far?

A: Everything. What I like the most is seeing the students working on something I can tell they are frustrated with and get it – and to see the looks on their faces when they get it. Seeing the support the students give to each other is also great.

Q: What can students (and parents) look forward to in terms of performances this year?

A: The Christmas Show is coming up; we’re doing an original play that will put our spiritual spin on Christmas. We’ll have a step team starting in November. The spring musical will be big. We are also exploring new class opportunities. Mr. Falatko (band director) is in the process of developing a marching band and has already resurrected the fight song. Mr. Hackett (art teacher), Mr. Falatko and I are excited about the Fine Arts Festival this spring, which will include an auction this year, so it will serve as a fundraiser for our band and choir competition at Hershey Park in late April.