Fifteen years ago, when Nella Elam began her tenure as an art teacher at Starkville High School in Starkville, the art program offered "two classes of fourteen students each." Today the program has expanded into a department of visual and performing arts chaired by Mrs. Elam. The current visual arts program has "two full-time teachers, teaching twelve classes daily." Mrs. Elam is the instrumental force behind the creation of a "viable art program at Starkville High School." The performance of program students who have chosen to continue their art education at the college and university level attests to the program's strength. Mrs. Elam feels the strengths of the program could be significantly enhanced by a course in computer graphic design. It is her dream to institute such a course before she retires, "so that each student can have an experience in this area that is at the leading edge of our field." Exposure to the arts changes all lives, according to Mrs. Elam, and although some lives are more radically transformed than others, she believes that her role is to give each and every student "a meaningful experience each day."
Mississippi State University, B.A.