WHS Pelosi Fine Arts
Philip A. Pelosi, Ph.D. Fine Arts Center at Watertown High School
This site was dedicated on Saturday, October 24, 2009. Dr. Philip A. Pelosi served our district in many capacities throughout his career. As an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, we dedicate this site in his honor. We will highlight Watertown High student art work on this site. Enjoy!
"He was the corner stone of our curriculum; he was always there. He is a classy, intelligent, wonderful person who has served us so well and he is appreciated." Ms. Janice Curulla Pond, former teaching colleague and current school board member.
"I think it was because of Dr. Pelosi’s leadership that we are on top of most of the trends. It is sort of nice to see that statewide, that we are where we should be and better than a lot." Fran Palmer, teacher
"The more you study the great beauty of advanced mathematics – in areas like fractal geometry and abstract algebra - the better you understand why a former math teacher would appreciate the great beauty of artwork. Dr. Pelosi believes in allowing students to pursue their passions without bound. He was always willing to bend the curriculum to make the work relevant and exciting for students. When you allow students individual freedom to create something – a drawing, painting, photograph, short story, novel, and even a mathematical equation – when you allow emotion and logic to collide -- the products created are outstanding and meaningful. Dr. Pelosi spent 36 years in Watertown providing opportunities for students to create and in the process he created a school system where the arts are valued for their contribution to the development of the whole child." Matt Geary, WHS Principal
Biographical Sketch and Legacy:
Dr. Pelosi began his career in Watertown in September of 1972 as a Math teacher at Watertown High School. He took a year off to complete his Ph.D. in 1978 before returning to WHS. He was appointed to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Schools on August 1, 1983. During his time in the central office, he served as Interim Superintendent of Schools six times before retiring in 2008 after serving the Watertown Public Schools for 36 years. During his 36 years, he worked hard to keep the Watertown Public Schools moving forward particularly in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. He did this by making personal connections with teachers and support staff and by finding funding, many times through grants because of budget constraints, to support their work.
Dr. Pelosi's unyielding support for the arts included sending students to Wesleyan University’s Center for Creative Youth Summer Program (http://www.crec.org/magnetschools/schools/ccy/).
By including money in the budget to pay tuition for students who wanted to attend, Dr. Pelosi enabled several students to pursue an area of interest in the arts. He believes that every student could express themselves through some form of art – drawing, painting, dance, theater, creative writing – to name a few so he worked tirelessly to make students aware that the Center for Creative Youth was an option and to encourage them to attend.
Dr. Pelosi was able through a large grant from the Connecticut Center for School Change, to provided staff members the training needed to look at student work using a common process. His work with the center and the schools involved in the grant allowed him to share ideas with the staff and allowed the staff to explore student work in all areas. This work has paved the way for our current work – collaboration among staff members to examine achievement data and student work in order to identify strategies that should ultimately improve student achievement. The work students do in art classes, drawing, painting, sculpting, photographing, as well as reading and critical thinking, is vital to their success as learners. Dr. Pelosi understood this deep connection and the importance of the arts.
Please visit our student art gallery site.
Fine Art Center Faculty
Mrs. Bartholomeo (9-12 art coordinator, intro to drawing, intro to painting)
Mrs. Hourihan (photography, art foundations)
Ms. Uryase (ceramics, humanities, sculpture)
Mrs. Wright (art foundations)