Not only does Florida State’s Art Education Department produce creative and effective teachers and researchers, it has also brought together an amazing duo who have taken on the halls of Alta Vista Elementary School, teaching the generation of tomorrow about art, science, technology, and teamwork.
Michael Sperow and Kasan Whitehead met in their first year as Art Education graduate students at FSU in the Fall of 2010. The two were both very involved in the program during their time here. They worked as graduate assistants and were active participants in the Gaines Street mural projects. They were also leaders in the NAEA student chapter and presented at both state and national conferences. The teamwork that they shared allowed for a friendship to blossom, and the couple later married in 2013.
In the midst of graduation preparation in 2012, Kasan secured an instructional art position in Sarasota County at Alta Vista Elementary School. Michael volunteered at Alta Vista Elementary for the art program while also substitute teaching in Sarasota County Schools, which allowed him to network inside the system for what turned out to be a perfect combination of his skills as a 3D artist and a self-proclaimed math and science nerd.
Now, with their knowledge from FSU, Michael and Kasan are working to help develop the young minds of the students at Alta Vista Elementary School. The Sperows work side-by-side, as Kasan teaches Art K-5 and Michael teaches STEAM (Science and Technology interpreted through Engineering and the Arts, all based in Mathematics)
STEAM is an especially exciting field for educators with widespread interests. It began as “STEM” and was combined with the arts by Georgette Yackman. In addition, Yackman contributed significantly to integrating these five fields into a cohesive program. This multi-disciplinary framework for teaching bridges the gap between business and educational goals to promote sustainability and efficiency in the leaders of the future. It encourages teamwork and creative thinking to promote integration and collaboration.
We are proud of the work the Sperows are doing and hope to see others follow in their very successful footsteps. They are a testimony the success of the Art Education program and the versatility of potential job placements upon graduation. Please share your news.