Students at Prairie are no strangers to art. Painting, drawing, ceramics, photography- and, in past years- sculpture, have all been offered to students here at school.
But, with only two teachers carrying all of these classes on their shoulders, not everyone gets the opportunity to take the courses.
“We can only accommodate so many students and it’s a shame,” admits John Saikaly, one of the art teachers, “We probably turn down something close to 100 to 200 students a year because we don’t have enough art teachers. We have two art teachers at a school that is growing.”
Saikaly has nine art courses that he teaches here at Prairie, all of which are confined to two small rooms on the lower level of the school.
Despite the imperfect circumstances surrounding art at Prairie, Mr. Saikaly remains dedicated to his students. Being an artist himself, Saikaly uses his passion to provide students with the utmost knowledge he possibly can.
“Being an art teacher is the dream job for me because I get to share the knowledge that I’ve acquired through years of being an artist with my students.”
Saikaly hopes, that at some point in the near future, the art program here at school will expand into something greater, where more students will have the opportunity to enjoy everything from ceramics to painting.
“If I can help my students become great artists- or good artists- through teaching art and they become better people than they already are,” explains Saikaly, “I’ve achieved my goal.”