Featured Teacher @ NEGS – Sarah Ronald is the Head of Creative Arts, Performing Arts and Design (CAPAD) at NEGS. After working as a teacher in England, Sarah returned to Australia and started her position as an Art Teacher at NEGS in 2010. During her years here she has been a Teacher, Year Advisor, Head of House for Boarding and Head of Department.
“The best thing about NEGS is how genuine the students are and the wonderful people I work with. We all work hard to create the best opportunities for the students under our care and it is a privilege to work with so many talented and capable teachers”.
Sarah grew up on a property near Quirindi with a creative Mother and Grandmother who were often painting, silk-screen printing onto textiles, sewing, knitting and often dabbling in silverwork and upholstery. This love of being creative led Sarah to study a combined degree of B.Design/B.Art Education in Sydney at the College of Fine Arts (COFA) in Paddington.
After University, Sarah took a teaching position at her old high school Ascham. “It is strange going back to your old school as a teacher, not a student. I loved teaching there though”. After that she went travelling, getting to visit art galleries all over the world, and ended up in the UK where she taught for two years in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.
As an artist and an art teacher, Sarah loves printing, photography, and drawing and will take any chance she gets to create. The topic Sarah especially loves to teach her students is about traditional black and white photography. “In a digital age, most students don’t know that cameras once had a film in them. The students still have a real wonderment experiencing a photograph developing in the darkroom for the first time”. Year 7 Art at NEGS always starts with printmaking. “I think that printmaking is accessible for all students (even if they do not think that they can draw or create art) – they are always surprised as to how good their prints turn out’’
One of the highlights for Sarah is the annual Art and Design Excursion to Sydney where senior students from Visual Arts, Design & Technology, Textiles & Design, and Music, as well as the Year 12 Visual Arts students visit and experience a variety of galleries, studios, and performances. The excursion is always such a valuable learning tool for the students as it exposes them to such an extensive plethora of practitioners and their work, that can then be discussed when they return to the classroom.
Sarah has also been on the Thailand Service trip over the years with students and found it to be a rewarding and eye-opening experience for both her and the students.