Teacher showcasing arts alumni

Nicholas Donaldson

A local project is hoping to highlight some of the successful careers in the Arts that began in the Fort Frances High School Arts programs.
The project is being run by Fort High teacher Susan DeGagne, with the goal of collecting stories from alumni who have gone on to pursue a career in the Arts (visual art, drama, music).
The stories will be displayed in the high school and hopefully inspire current and future artists by showing that the Arts do not just have to be an interest in high school, but can also become a career path.
“I had recently connected with a couple of former students on Facebook and learned some of the really neat things they are doing and just wished that more students knew about those options,” DeGagne told the Times.
“So many kids in high school enjoy doing arts classes, plays and all the extra-curriculars but it seems like a lot of them just think its something fun to do while they’re here and you can’t take it anywhere,” she added.
Alumni working in the Arts can fill out the questionnaire document and email it to DeGagne at susan.degagne@gapps.rrdsb.com along with a photo.
The information will then be printed out and displayed in a reserved space in one of the FFHS display cases as well as on the school’s website.
The plan is to feature a different alumni every month of the school year beginning in September and allow current students to read their story and learn about what it takes to work in the Arts.
Examples DeGagne gave included one of her friends who worked in the fashion industry and as extras in television shows and is currently working in the costume department on a show.
“She said that some of the things she learned in high school in her art classes has come back and she’s gotten use out of that,” DeGagne commented.
DeGagne also mentioned Melissa Fletcher–a Fort High alumni who is currently working in a talent agency and met with some drama students to talk about her work at the end of the last school year.
The submission form asks the alumni to fill out their name, graduation year, current city, occupation, area of study and any past or future entertainment jobs
There is also space to fill out involvement in FFHS extracurricular activities, best memories and favourite aspects of the FFHS arts programs and advice for current arts students.
The submission form can be found on DeGagne’s Facebook page or at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xcaqFfWS2AJ6OH58DTNVkSge7mbNAkzunxx1yLAila0
DeGagne said that everyone is welcome to share it and spread the word so that she gets as many submissions as possible.
“Even if you think you are not exactly what we’re looking for, just do it, the more we can show the better,” stressed DeGagne.
“I feel like the more career options students know about the more open they will be in finding their passion and pursuing what they want,” she concluded.