WARMING UP. Ms. Tusa, the choir teacher, warms up her class in the choir room. Tusa is the newest addition to the ArtQuest teaching roster, she is teaching choir as well as guitar. She is looking forward to a less stressful year, “I knew it was going to be a transition for all of us, mostly for the students. Not that we’re unaffected, we I mean adults, but we’ve had many more years of social existence, and so I really feel for the students.” With a new array of faces on campus both students and teachers are looking forward to an exciting year.
Article and photo by Robert Merrick
After the hectic previous years we are finally moving towards a semblance of normal, this is punctuated by the transition from two co-directors of ArtQuest to a single director. This director is Katie Loomis who transferred from Elsie Allen High School where she taught for six and a half years as the school’s art teacher. When asked what inspired her to teach she said, “From a really young age I’ve always been an artist, being an artist, painting just anything art related that was, just always the goal of mine there was nothing else that I wanted to explore, it was just always an artist.”
Outside of school Loomis is an avid painter with a new style of painting she learned during the shelter-in-place called textile painting. Loomis would textile paint by first, painting dye onto paper, then, once it’s dry, cutting the paper into organic and geometric shapes, before using a heat press to turn the dye into a gas form. This is then imprinted on the fabric, which leads to an extremely vibrant painting. When asked about how well the transition to Santa Rosa High School was Loomis had nothing but positive things to say: “Things have been going really well on campus. It’s my first year here and everyone has been really welcoming which has made the transition really smooth.”
Alongside Loomis, there is also another teacher joining the SRHS faculty; Tusa first name Tusa, who is replacing Kira Bomace as the choir teacher. Tusa is transferring to Santa Rosa High School after teaching guitar and choir at Proctor Terrace Elementary School. While most recently having taught at Proctor Terrace, Tusa has had quite a vibrant teaching history starting in high school where she started as a figure skating coach and a piano teacher.
After high school, Tusa began “hopping around the globe,” traveling to teach English in Paris and then to teach English in Japan, before returning to Santa Rosa. When asked about what she wanted to accomplish this year Tusa said “ I really want to grow that program back up to its former glory.” Ms. Tusa’s last words for the interview were; “Join choir!” While it is sad to see several old teachers depart, it is good to know that there are talented teachers to take their places.