The Edmond Sun


April 3, 2013

$5,000 grant helps Santa Fe teacher

Italy to come alive for students

EDMOND — When first approached by her principal to teach AP Art History, Santa Fe High School teacher Sherree Ulrich said she jumped at the prospect. Ulrich said she is an artist, a musician, a lover of poetry and all things aesthetic.

“I had previously taught English to sophomores and juniors, as well as English as a Second Language,” Ulrich said. “Teaching an art history course appeared to be a perfect culmination of my love for the arts and appreciation of other cultures. I saw art history as just another extension of myself that I could seamlessly fuse into my classroom.”

Ulrich said she is constantly making an effort to bring art off of the screen and into real life for her students, but she knows that she needs to gain new inspiration so she applied for a $5,000 grant from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, which she recently received.  

Her principal, Jason Hayes said, “Sherree is one of our most eclectic teachers and she is multi-talented as well. With her different, varied talents, she not only brings a love of art, but as a musician she also brings a love of music and as an English teacher she is well read and understands and can combine all of the talents she has into teaching art history. As an artistic person she will definitely bring back what she learns in Italy to teach her students.”

Ulrich said after teaching art history she discovered that she needed to increase her depth of knowledge.

“It is easy to identify and critique a work of art; my previous background in literature and writing gives me limitless words to discuss the mood or tone of a piece,” Ulrich said, “but to understand the historical and cultural context of a piece outside of the limitations of my Smartboard is a whole other story completely.”

Ulrich said it became clear to her that the art that she can make real to her students is the art that they will always remember.

“I use yardsticks to demonstrate scale,” Ulrich said. “We build paper replicas of temples to see them in 3-D. I can recall one chilly winter’s morning when I dragged my students out to the football field to mark out the actual size of the Sistine chapel. What was once a 4x4 photo projected on my wall was now a vast masterpiece — a great mystery of how one man could complete something of this grandeur in only four years. As we yelled at each other across the field, the amount of “Wows!” and “NO WAYS” pouring in from every direction quickly made me realize how much my students are missing, and even more so, how much I am missing.”

She said she found herself asking, “What am I bringing students that they do not already have access to via the Internet? In an age where people experience the world through cell phones and text messages, personal experience trumps technology every time. I cannot bring each and every student around the globe to marvel at Masaccio’s frescoes and Bernini’s ‘Baldacchino,’ but I have the ability to go there myself. If cannot bring them around the world with me, I must bring that world back to them.”

Ulrich said she chose Italy to visit because their art spans from ancient Rome to the flamboyantly embellished Rococo.

“I want to traverse deep within the catacombs of the early Christians, and I want to marvel at the mosaics in the Byzantine Basilicas,” Ulrich said. “I want to make my own personal pilgrimage to a Romanesque church, and I want to stare straight up at the sky through the Pantheon’s oculus and feel absolutely worthless next to the ‘Pieta’ that Michelangelo sculpted at a mere 21 years of age.”

This summer Ulrich will be visiting Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Pisa, Rome and Pompeii.

Ulrich said with this grant she will gain an invaluable amount of first-hand experience and will be able to impart a deeper knowledge to her students that will excite and inspire them to continue to cultivate their appreciation of man’s creation for years to come.

Text Only
  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO announces Spring 2014 Honor Roll students

    The University of Central Oklahoma recently announced the students named to the university honor rolls, a distinction given to those who achieve the highest academic standards.
    For the spring 2014 semester, 1,073 students made the President’s Honor Roll, an honor achieved by those who recorded a “straight-A” or 4.0 GPA.

    July 28, 2014

  • 11.6.12 Mother and Cub (2).jpg UCO forensic researcher answers key question

    After working a few human recovery cases on a volunteer basis with a variety of police departments, a question kept bugging Kama King.
    “You spend the whole day,” the UCO W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute student said, “sometimes days, searching for someone and only find a skull or a few bones and it just ate at me. Are we not finding this or is it not there to be found?”

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • pm_Ramona Paul.jpg Keith, 5 others to receive service awards

    The 2014 Door-Opener Awards Gala dinner and silent auction Sept. 4, benefitting ASTEC Charter Schools, will recognize five outstanding Oklahomans and one Kansan for lifetime contributions made toward helping others in society maximize potential and achieve dreams.
    Those selected to receive a Door-Opener Award at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel event include Dr. Harvey Dean, Pittsburg, Kan.; Toby Keith and Tricia Covel, Norman; Former Gov. George P. Nigh, Edmond; the late Dr. Ramona Paul, Edmond; and Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma City.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Edmond Youth Chorus auditions begin Monday

    The Fine Arts Institute of Edmond is seeking talented youth to try out for the upcoming season of the Edmond Youth Chorus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rainbow Fleet introduces statewide child care line

    Oklahoma parents can now access a statewide program designed to provide resources and referrals for services across Oklahoma.

    July 25, 2014

  • Team Oklahoma Team Oklahoma brings home third place from NTAE

    Members of Team Oklahoma competing in the National Tournament of Academic Excellence placed third at the national competition held recently in Orlando.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated

    When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
    “When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.

    July 25, 2014

  • OC welcomes missionary, military families

    For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
    The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
    The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.

    July 25, 2014

  • UCO DEBATE_submitted.jpg UCO debate team succeeds at nationals

    The University of Central Oklahoma’s debate team traveled to Bloomington, Ind., at the end of March to compete in the Cross Examination Debate Association’s National Championship Tournament (CEDANCT), bringing home several awards and finishing the year ranked no. 24 in the nation.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo