New Trier partners with St. Joseph School to teach students glass art

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Winnetka, Ill. - The New Trier High School Art Department recently opened its classrooms - and kiln - to students from St. Joseph School to explore the world of glass art together.

Seventh-grade honors art students from the nearby Wilmette school visited the Winnetka Campus on Nov. 8 and 15. The students created glass turtles and paperweights during two classes.

This first-time partnership allowed New Trier teachers and students the opportunity to teach the younger students a new art form, show them their studio and provide a preview of the classes they could take when they reach high school.

As the lead instructor, Glass Art teacher Monique Roberts-Boyd taught the visitors how to create a turtle by melting glass with a torch and forming it into a shape. Lab supervisor Mike daPonte led the paperweight group in the adjacent hot shop, where they collaborated and worked with molten glass.

A group of New Trier students also assisted whenever the younger students had questions or needed extra guidance in their projects.

"We all really enjoyed helping the seventh-graders," Roberts-Boyd said. "Letting the kids get a preview of what they might be able to take in high school is a valuable experience for both schools."

St. Joseph School Principal Laszlo Katona and Art teacher Jeannie Breen praised the two-part field trip experience.

"Our students were thrilled with this opportunity - they could not stop talking about it," Breen said. "It's been a wonderful experience for our seventh-graders. The glass art program at New Trier is a special place right in our own backyard. New Trier staff and students were welcoming, helpful and enthusiastic."