SAN ANTONIO – A new art teacher at a San Antonio elementary school is introducing himself and thanking his predecessor with a rap video to honor the retired teacher’s legacy and help bridge the transition for students.
Adam Voglewede, or “Mr. V”, is in his first year teaching at Hoffmann Lane Elementary School after the previous art teacher Carla Shipley retired.
“I heard so many wonderful stories about the tremendous impact Mrs. Shipley had made on the students, families and teachers,” said Voglewede, who is beginning his 12th year as a teacher, but first year with Comal ISD. “This was both inspiring and intimidating at the same time, and I knew I had some big shoes to fill.”
Voglewede went to work writing a rap song to let the students get to know him as well as see Shipley. She had been teaching for 16 years and when COVID-19 hit, she didn’t get to say goodbye.
“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 said.
Shipley said she was happy to be a part of the video and spend time with someone with a passion for teaching and art.
“Art is my passion, and the students are my babies,” said Shipley, who has a medical condition that placed her at a high risk to return to the classroom. “I was happy to pass the torch to someone who will engage my kids in art. I think the video show 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.”
The pair’s love for art and teaching now is shared with a love for the same students, Comal ISD said. Both emphasized the importance of art education.
“Most of all, art promotes self-expression and teaches children that it’s OK to share emotions and feelings with others. In this way, art allows us to feel connected even though some of us can’t be together right now,” Voglewede said.