Teacher Spotlight: Kellen Stanley, art teacher, Saint Mary’s Hall

SAN ANTONIO – In today’s Teacher Spotlight, we introduce you to Kellen Stanley, an art teacher at Saint Mary’s Hall who used creative videos, a unicorn costume and art on a cart to keep the optimism rolling.

“You’re always going to use creativity and problem solving and collaboration for the rest of your life,” Stanley said.

Stanley is an art teacher at Saint Mary’s Hall and she said she always encourages creativity among all of her students.

“One of my catchphrases is ‘let’s fail forward’ and let’s have it propel us into making something we might not have ever made before,” Stanley said.

She said she has seen firsthand students navigate online and hybrid learning. So, Stanley wanted to make life a little easier -- and a little more fun.

“I wanted to bring a sense of normalcy and a sense of playfulness to their lives. And then I also just wanted to bring some kind of inspiration, some kind of positive, more soul to chew on at the end of the day, when all of us were just so all over the place and trying to get our footing collectively,” Stanley said.

And as Stanley says -- creativity is part of her job.

“Covid-19 actually brought to view me dressing up in a unicorn onesie and becoming this mystery reader called Stanley the Unicorn,” Stanley said.

And when Stanley isn’t going full unicorn, she is going class to class with her art on a cart.

“One thing that’s very different is that students are stationary at their desks all day, so it is something it’s inspirational to see that the students who were at their desks all day, that they brighten up whenever they see art on a cart come in and we get to create something today,” Stanley said.

One project that Miss Stanley helped create students voice their journey through this pandemic.

“In partnership with my co-teacher, Tess Eggleston, we created a short film that was using videos and artwork and writing from primarily fourth grade students. That was in response to an artwork at the McNay,” Stanley said.

All in all, Stanley said she has been able to adapt, and she is impressed by how the rest of her school and her students have been able to shift so quickly.

“I would love to say that the silver lining is that we have seen how resilient we are as a community and as a as a nation, as a state in San Antonio,” Stanley said.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.