The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Cece Golinvaux

Ms. Julie Fowler teaches her BSM art students, while she subs for Ms. Nan Onkka.

Meet Ms. Fowler

Ms. Nan Onkka, senior high art teacher, started her maternity leave on Wednesday, October 17 because of the birth of her new baby boy. With Onkka planning to return by the end of third quarter, Ms. Julie Fowler was hired to take her place.

Fowler grew up in Iowa and moved to the Minneapolis to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She earned an undergrad degree in graphic design, which she used to work in the field for about ten years. She then decided to go back and earn a Master’s degree in education to be able to teach middle school art. After teaching middle school for some time, she decided it was time for a change. “I was looking for an opportunity to teach high school because I was teaching middle school art for the last ten years, and I saw the opportunity at BSM to be a long-term sub,” Fowler said.

The opportunity to teach high school provided a welcome challenge for Fowler, specifically, the chance to be able to educate students in the more advanced levels and styles of art caught her eye. “I really liked the range of high school ages and AP classes at BSM. I wanted to try teaching AP art as well,” Fowler said.

Fowler enjoys the self-instruction, freedom and higher level of complexity that comes with teaching high school art. “I can tell already that I prefer teaching high school over middle school. I loved my last job, and I really cared about the kids, but I think that this experience has shown me I’m a better fit for teaching high school,” Fowler said.

I was looking for an opportunity to teach high school because I was teaching middle school art for the last ten years, and I saw the opportunity at BSM to be a long-term sub

— Julie Folwer

During the week, Fowler switches back and forth between work at the Walker Arts Center and class time at BSM. The Walker is located in Minneapolis and focuses on the visual, performing, and media art of today. Her work includes education related subjects such as writing curriculum for schools and events. “We do a variety of different things, mostly we work with school groups that come in to tour, and we do art activities with them. It’s also working in schools. We go into schools and teach them about certain artworks or collections at the Walker,” Fowler said.

Beyond art, Fowler enjoys spending time with her son, traveling, and participating in nature-related activities. Although Onkka plans to return by the end of the third quarter, Fowler hopes to continue teaching at BSM if the opportunity arises.

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