Mrs. Pepe

Ipswich high school is a school known for the art department.  Over the past few years, the department has won numerous awards for the artwork that the students create.  “The Visual Arts Department of the Ipswich Public Schools believes that studying the visual arts is fundamental to human development and the human experience. The visual arts nurture and validate inspiration, intuition, creativity, and the recognition of beauty through study, practice, and reflection. Contributing beyond their intrinsic value, the visual arts benefit a range of learning environments, the local community, and society at large. Students are challenged to develop their aesthetic sense, problem solve, and to better understand and respect themselves and others through their study of the visual arts.  The visual arts program of the Ipswich Public Schools explores essential questions of art while integrating problem solving, critical thinking, art history, and technical skills. It fosters appreciation, passion, and understanding of the visual arts while nurturing the students artistic confidence and expression(IHS handbook).” This is the philosophy that Mrs. Pepe implements in her work every day.

Not only is Mrs. Pepe a wonderful teacher, but she is also a great mentor.  This year, she hired the new art teacher who replaced the previous one.  She meets with Mrs. Thistlethwaite everyday to help her with teaching techniques. Along with that, she has an art student come in each year to student teach.  This year, Ms. Morris is lucky enough to do her teaching semester with Mrs. Pepe and learn closely under her wing.  She believes in not only helping her students learn the proper way to do things, but also helping her students find their own technique.

“Even if two students create the same piece, the two are never alike.” This is one of Mrs. Pepe’s often used teaching methods.  In ceramics you are given an assignment, for example, to sculpt a pepper.  She knows that she is not going to end up with 30 peppers that are all the same shape, size, or color because each student has their own way of creating and envisioning what the object of interest looks like.  Mrs. Pepe’s classroom is a fun and serious environment.  There is always a task at hand and there will be no slacking off.

If you’re thinking of taking art for an “easy A,” you better think again, because in her classes you are going to work hard.  You will find talent that you never knew you had and produce great things, possibly win an award.  Nothing is ever done. “It can always be better!” Before you leave Ipswich high school definitely think about dabbling in the art department! Especially with Mrs. Pepe!