Ms. Sarah Podrasky

Phone: 785-330-4771

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Master of Arts in Visual Arts Education, University of Kansas, 2016 Bachelor of Sciences in Graphic Design with a self-emphasis in Photography, Missouri Western State University, 2004

Ms. Sarah Podrasky

Photography + Humanities Teacher

spodrask@usd497.org

Lawrence Free State High School

Room 202

4700 Overland Drive

Lawrence, KS 66049

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Free State Photo website

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COURSES

Studio: Photo

Photography 1 & 2

Introduction to Visual Arts

Humanities 

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ABOUT ME:

I've been passionate about art ever since I can remember and I love to share the excitement and enthusiasm of artmaking with my students!  If you'd like to know a little bit more about me, continue reading below:

I grew up on a small farm near St. Joseph, Missouri.  I loved living in the country and spending time outdoors with our dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, cows, sheep, and (yes, it's true) a donkey.  I loved going on mini-adventures and taking pictures!  This turned into a passion for artistic expression which led me to my first college experience at Missouri Western State University.  I absolutely LOVED my studio classes!  It was the first time in my life where I felt like I fit in and "belonged" somewhere.  These people were like me: quirky, socially awkward, open-minded, and passionate about art!  The students and professors at MWSU made an indelible impact on my life, and I am forever grateful for their lifelong friendships and support.  

After receiving my Bachelor's of Science degree in Graphic Design with a self-emphasis in Photography, I began work as a part-time photographer at a local photo studio, and soon became a full-time graphic designer and photographer; I was in charge of all the marketing and promotional materials, the editing and retouching of photographs, ordering prints, and creating original graphic design products.  My favorite memories at the studio were the face-to-face interactions I had with clients who requested custom orders.  These ranged from designing invitations to 50th wedding anniversary celebrations, birth announcements, and my favorite: restoring old family photographs.  I felt honored to work directly with families in such a personal way.  Some of the vintage photographs were whimsical. Others, like the restoration work I did for photos taken at concentration camps in WWII, still haunt me to this day.  

After several years at the studio, I missed the camaraderie of working with fellow artists with whom I shared a similar passion and drive for making art.  It was then that I realized that I needed to get back to my artistic "roots," and examine what it was about art that made me fall in love with it in the first place.  The excitement that comes from envisioning an idea and seeing it manifest into physical form is perpetually captivating and addicting.  I decided to go back to school and get my Master's in Visual Art Education from KU.  My husband and I packed up all our belongings and headed to Lawrence, Kansas.

Going to grad school was one of the best decisions of my life.  Similar to my undergraduate experiences at MWSU, I once again felt like I belonged within this community of creatives.  Graduate school opened my eyes to new ways of learning, making, and teaching.  I was surrounded by some of the most passionate teachers in the nation, and I became invested in current research and best practices within the field of education - specifically art education.  While attending KU, I worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Visual Art Department facilitating art classes for Elementary Education majors.  This enabled me to get hands-on experience teaching, while also enhancing my appreciation for quality public education at all levels.  Plus, it was fun! I also volunteered for Van-Go, an after-school arts-based job training program, where I was fortunate to work alongside some of the most talented and caring teens in our community.

I have exhibited my artwork at local and national competitions and juried exhibitions, have given presentations at both the Kansas Art Education Association's (KAEA) and the National Art Education Association's (NAEA) annual conventions, and was one of two students at KU to receive the 2015 Kansas Teacher of Promise Award.  I recently (2016) graduated with highest honors from the University of Kansas with a Master of Arts degree in Visual Art Education.  

I love teaching photography!  Other things I love: being an auntie, Boston Terriers, kittens, Broad City, Leslie Knope, chai lattes with almond milk, road trips, painting, visual journaling, gardening, cooking/baking from scratch, and taking photos of... everything!