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Creativity Beyond the Classroom

Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk
Creativity Beyond the Classroom

Finding innovative ways to fuse students’ creativity and intellectual curiosity with their passions has long been at the heart of the Old Trail School experience. 

From this focus, Old Trail’s Middle School Fellowship in Creativity was created in 2019 to offer Grade 7 and Grade 8 students opportunities for enriching, yearlong independent studies in an area of their choice with the support of a trusted faculty advisor. It is part of the school’s commitment to providing transformative student experiences that distinctly promote experiential learning and creativity.

“Old Trail is devoted to creating interactions, experiences and opportunities that  ensure that all students have the means to pursue their interests and passions,” said Fellowship in Creativity Director Marival Quesada. “The areas of study chosen are as varied and interesting as the students who chose them.”

Although the disruptions caused by COVID-19 prevented many students from the first fellowship cohort from finishing their projects, three fellows were able to complete their work. The quality and diversity of their  projects serve as a testament to the intent of the fellowship: creativity and intellectual curiosity. See, watch and hear the three completed projects on our Middle School Fellowship in Creativity page. 

Keith Hancock ’20:
“Four Seasons in Four
Minutes: A Year at Old Trail from Summer to Summer”

Keith envisioned a string quartet piece entitled “Four Seasons in Four Minutes: A Year at Old Trail from Summer to Summer.” Keith’s “Four Seasons” takes a page from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in that the fall and spring themes share similar melodies. Because Keith’s composition chronicles the school year, it starts at the tail end of summer and cycles back to summer at the end. The composition came together during the early months of the pandemic (the spring of 2020), bringing music to life during a time of isolation.

Alexandra Newman ’20:
“Welcome to Old Trail”

Alex was always a constant ambassador for Old Trail and engaged people outside of the community on why Old Trail was her home. Combining her love of the performing arts, storytelling and Old Trail, Alex produced an engaging video about the arts at Old Trail for prospective families to view and understand the important role art plays at OTS.

Alex commented that as an eighth-grade student, “the Fellowship in Creativity was
a perfect way to express my passion for the arts. I enjoyed the close partnership with my school mentor, and being able to create a project that focused on musical theatre. While working on the fellowship, I was able to research and gather knowledge
to help me take my interest further.”

Lauren Stephens ’21:
“Diversity at Old Trail School—A Mural”

After a significant amount of research, thought and conversations, Lauren
spent months creating a mural that represents the many faces of Old Trail, makes a bold statement about our larger community and honors the core values
of the school: responsibility, kindness, service and goodness.

“When working on my fellowship project I felt a sense of power,” Lauren reflected. “To have the ability to showcase something important to me, a passion of mine, to a community, is a gift itself. I was overjoyed by the success of the project, not just because of the finished look but also the journey I took to reach that point. It is one of my proudest accomplishments in my Old Trail career.”

Lauren’s mural is permanently displayed in the Harrington-McLaughlin Athletic Center hallway.

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Old Trail Magazine Cover - Winter 2022

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