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Sullivan art students enter 35 works in youth exhibitions

Sullivan Middle School's 2015-16 art students had 35 entries in the San Diego County Fair's youth exhibitions.

Two of the sixth-graders in Melissa Ledri's advanced art class were entered in the Creative Youth competition for grades K-6 while the 33 seventh- and eighth-grade students had entries in the fair's Student Showcase.

"They did the best they could," Ledri said.

Ledri did not assign a particular subject or theme for her students.

"I gave them a lot of choice," said Ledri. "It was probably a difficult assignment because it wasn't scripted. They did a great job."

The submissions were due to the fair in May, and most of Ledri's students began their fair projects in mid-March.

"I gave them about a month and a half," said Ledri. "Some of them had two months because they had finished with another project they were doing."

The advanced art class Ledri taught in 2015 had 36 students, including three sixth-graders. One of the sixth-graders was working on a different project and did not submit an entry to the county fair.

Ledri has taught at Sullivan Middle School since 2001 and became the Sullivan art teacher in 2011 after her predecessor retired. She was a was a visual arts major with a concentration in painting at Gordon College in Massachusetts.

Ledri was raised in Vista and had entries in the county fair's Student Showcase when she was attending Vista High School. The 2015 county fair was the first for Ledri as a teacher entering Student Showcase works. She taught two advanced art classes during the 2014-15 school year and approximately 50 Sullivan entries were displayed.

"It's a lot of work to prep, but it pays off for the kids," Ledri said. "It kind of brings everything in one place and you see a lot of different talent."

Ledri had one advanced art class during the 2015-16 school year and also taught elective wheel art classes, which had between 20 to 25 students each quarter.

In addition to the art classes she teaches at Sullivan, Ledri also teaches language arts and social studies at the sixth-grade level. Ledri will teach three year-long art classes during the 2016-17 school year: the advanced art class, a beginning art class, and a 3-D design and printmaking class which will be new at Sullivan.

"They support the arts and it's really awesome," said Ledri.


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