Inside SUA: Rachel (Carey) Ellis

Rachel (Carey) Ellis
Visual Arts Teacher

How long have you been a part of the SUA community?
20 years

What is your position/affiliation to SUA?
I have been an Art teacher for the last 20 years, becoming the Department Chair about 8 or 9 years ago. Some of the subjects I have taught over the years are Art Fundamentals (formerly Art 1), Drawing, Painting, AP Drawing, Sculpture, Ceramics, 2 & 3D design, and in the early years I taught some of the St. Francis seniors when they came here for art classes.

What are you most proud of being affiliated with SUA?
Seeing the students that I had the privilege of teaching every year (or almost every year) during their high school career grow and change as a person and as an artist. I love hearing back from these girls when they get to college and beyond and tell me that something I taught them has helped them in some shape or form in their lives. I also am proud of my part in growing the art department. I am also proud of being able to introduce AP Art and Design: Drawing back in 2010. I have been able to teach this course and see so many girls succeed.

What SUA Core Value is most meaningful to you, and why?
Care of the Individual. Being an art teacher allows me to get to know students in a different way than other subject teachers. My classroom allows for a more social atmosphere, and I am able to talk with the girls while they work. Art, especially in the more advanced classes, allows the students to have more of a personal message or touch on their art, which allows me to get to know them or nurture them in a different way. It can be a way for them to express themselves in a safe space.

How she has impacted students:
"Mrs. Ellis is one of the most caring teachers I’ve ever had. She’s more than willing to offer help and advice at the drop of a hat. I have to admit she’s like my second mother; she has given me guidance that has led me to where I am now. If you’re ever bored and love art (obviously), she is willing to give you ideas for projects that will keep you engaged with your artistic side. I’m so thankful to have had Mrs. Ellis as my teacher for the past four years (five including my JA years)—she’s the best!"

- Daley Meklus '22

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