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Senior Spotlight: Brooke Jackson

Senior Spotlight: Brooke Jackson

Senior Brooke Jackson is enjoying her last year as a Groton student by soaking up as much of the experience as she can. As a student, she is eager to learn and develop skills she will use as a graduate. This eagerness has opened doors to pursuing her interests in a unique way. It was during her first ceramics class last year that she first became interested in the fundamentals of hand building and wheel throwing. Jackson quickly developed a curiosity for working with clay and making sculptural as well as functional pieces. While working on one of her final projects of the year, she envisioned the piece with a special finish to complete it. Jackson knew what she wanted the project to look like when it was finished, but not how to achieve it. Through communication with her art teacher, Brookley Spanbauer, Jackson was able to create the final result she was hoping for. Because the coating Jackson desired required a special firing not possible to complete at the high school facilities, her teacher contacted SUNY Cortland to see if they would be able to access some of the college’s equipment. SUNY Art Professor Jeremiah Donavon allowed Jackson to bring her vase in to create the result she was looking for (see photo). This persistence and commitment to the project paid off with a result she is proud of and an opportunity she did not expect. Jackson said that her visit to the college ceramics class was eye-opening, “After that I fell in love with it, and I wanted to come back and experience glazing methods and wheel throwing techniques.” Professor Donavon allowed her to come back as an observer of the class, and Jackson’s curiosity has opened up an opportunity to intern with the class this year. Jackson now volunteers her time to work “on the wheel” at the high school and enjoys interning once a week at SUNY Cortland where she attends ceramics class and sometimes shadows other students. This experience helps to prepare Jackson for college and the level of commitment she can expect college courses to require. Jackson says “It is inspiring to see what their work is, what (each students) niche is. This has inspired me to find what my niche is.” Along with all the busyness of senior year, Jackson is finding the time to actively involve herself in activities that will enable her to graduate this May more knowledgeable in her areas of interest and prepared for continuing her education. Jackson has been a Groton student since kindergarten and said, “I love the art classes and I love how the teachers are so supportive and push me to better myself and figure out what I want to do after high school.” Jackson looks forward to studying art and musical theater in college. Jackson’s curiosity makes her a natural learner and is a sure indication that she will excel in college and beyond. And her plans next spring? “I don’t want to stay in the area, I kind of want to venture out and get out of my comfort zone.”



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