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David W. Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339





New Harry Hoag Elementary art teacher aims to foster growth in her students

For new Harry Hoag Elementary School art teacher Autumn Slawienski-Tracki, it’s all about seeing the growth of her students. Art teacher

Now in her 18th year of teaching, Mrs. Slawienski-Tracki says her love of art and desire to share it led her to become a teacher. Originally from Amsterdam, she received her bachelors of science in art education from the College of St. Rose, and a master’s degree in literacy from the University of Albany.

“For me, art is more than just having fun. There’s meaning and purpose. Just like any good novel, any piece of art has a story to it,” she said.

Mrs. Slawienski-Tracki says she likes to see how excited elementary students become when they grow as artists. She says they eventually learn they can express themselves, or “speak” through their art.

“I think it’s really enjoyable to see how far they come artistically from when they come in as kindergartners,” she said. “And it’s rewarding when you know that you’ve made a part of the voice they have in it.”

Mrs. Slawienski-Tracki says she incorporates a lot of other subjects in her artistic lessons, such as English literature and social studies. Why? Because art plays a part in all of it, she says.

“Art has been around for 30,000 plus years. It’s been here since then, so it’s touched everything that’s been here since,” she said.

“It’s one of the most special things we have in the universe because it’s been here for a very long time. So, in class, we will learn about a subject and then create something based off that.”

Being in Fort Plain is exciting, Mrs. Slawienski-Tracki said, because in just a short time, she said the staff and students have been fun to work with. She also wants parents to know she has high expectations for the kids.

“I have high expectations for the children and I try to get each student fulfill his or her potential,” she said. “I like raising the bar so that students can do the best they can.”

Quick Questions
Favorite artist: Jenny Holzer
Favorite musician: Mercy Me
Favorite book: The Bible
Best subject in school: advertising and design
If you could have dinner with any person in history it would be: Jesus

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