WMS Welcomes New Art Teacher: Lauri Jones

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Kendall Hermanson

This year six new teachers entered the Westminster Middle School, one of them being Lauri Jones. Jones teaches four 6th grade art classes and has a 6th grade girls homeroom. 

Jones’ students are also enjoying having her as an art teacher. 6th grader Hunt Foust enjoys the freedom Jones gives the students during class. “My favorite part is that she lets us talk and have fun while still working,” says Foust. The students have done many projects over the course of the 2020-21 school year, including making an animated GIF in PhotoShop, which is Jones’ favorite project of the year. 

Jones grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Rhode Island to attend college at Rhode Island School of Design. Soon after, she attended SCAD for her graduate degree. Before reaching Westminster, Jones taught at two elementary schools in Dekalb and a middle school in Savannah. Before Jones reached the Westminster Middle School she taught in the Westminster Lower School. Jones says the biggest difference between the two divisions is the schedule. “In the Lower School, students take all the specials . . . instead of choosing an elective, so in the lower school, I taught more classes and saw my individual students for less time.” Jones says, “So here in the Middle School, I teach four sections of sixth grade art and I see each of those students three times a week.” 

Jones’ love for teaching came from all of her teachers growing up who inspired her. “It really came from remembering the teachers that I had that I loved and made such an impact,” Jones says. “So it was, yeah, really sort of my passion came from the teachers who instilled in me, their passion.” Her favorite thing about teaching is the moment students who don’t consider themselves artists are proud of their work. “I think that in general, my favorite moment is always one student that doesn’t consider themselves an artist [realizes that they are],” Jones says. Her goal as a teacher has always been to instill creativity in her students. “My goal is to teach creativity and teach students how to be creative.”

It’s been a hard school year to transfer to a new position due to COVID-19. Jones says it affected her transition by making it harder to get to know her students. However, she was already getting used to the new schedule, so having the COVID changes hasn’t affected her learning curve overall. “Everything would have been new to me this year anyway,” Jones says. “So some of the new COVID protocols aren’t as hard for me to get used to because I was getting used to . . . all sorts of new things.”

Overall, it’s clear that Jones has a passion for teaching and the Westminster Middle School is happy she’s here!