SAN ANTONIO — A new art teacher at a Texas elementary school found a creative way to greet his students.
“I heard so many wonderful stories about the tremendous impact Mrs. Shipley had made on the students, families and teachers,” Voglewede, who tells students to call him “Mr. V,” told the television station. “This was both inspiring and intimidating at the same time, and I knew I had some big shoes to fill.”
Voglewede is beginning his 12th year as a teacher, but it is his first school term with the Comal Independent School District.
“Mr. V here, very excited to be your new art teacher,” Voglewede, sporting a mustache and a mullet haircut, says in the introduction to his video.
“Welcome back, everyone, to a place full of wonder. See your art hanging up, a star of the rotunda,” Voglewede raps in another portion of the clip.
Shipley, who taught at Hoffman Lane for 16 years, retired when the coronavirus pandemic hit because of a medical condition that put her at high risk, KSAT reported. She was unable to say goodbye, and Voglewede wanted to include her as a bridge for students.
“Ms. Shipley, the former art teacher, made such an awesome impact on the entire community and especially at this school with the children and the parents and even the teachers,” Voglewede said during a Zoom interview with KENS-TV. “There were big shoes to fill.”
Shipley even made a cameo in the video, encouraging students to create and explore, the television station reported.
“I chose to include her in my introduction video because I wanted to acknowledge her great legacy to the school’s art program and help bridge the transition from former teacher to new, in a time when so much is changing for our students,” Voglewede told KSAT.
Shipley said she was more than happy to participate.
“Art is my passion, and the students are my babies,” Shipley told KSAT. "I was happy to pass the torch to someone who will engage my kids in art. I think the video shows his personality and his creativity.”
Comal ISD said Shipley left a message for students and parents at the end of last year when she made the decision not to return. She told them to keep creating art and look for it in their lives.
“Art promotes creative thinking, enriches learning across the curriculum helps build social skills and language, and also encourages children to focus and listen,” Voglewede said. “Students learn to solve unique problems while making art, which is a valuable skill to have right now.”
Voglewede said the video took about two months to create. It’s not his first venture into rap videos.
“This is like my third teacher rap video and each time the response is a little bit better and a little bit better,” Voglewede told KENS. “I like to show kids that it’s OK to be yourself. I think a lot of that video is me being myself completely.
“I’m kind of goofy from time to time. I’m a silly guy, but I like to be myself and I like to show the kids that it’s OK to express yourself.”
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