Meet the 2017-2018 Art Therapy Interns
Our school community has already begun to benefit from the energy and professional efforts of this year's interns from SIUE's Art Therapy Counseling Graduate Program.
The Alton School District art therapists wishes to formally welcome
Ms. Kiersten Smith and Ms. Katie Turek to our team .
We have asked them to share a little bit about themselves for your information.
Ms. Kiersten Smith
(West Elementary and Alton Middle School)
My name is Kiersten Smith. I earned my Bachelor’s of Art with a concentration in Ceramics and a minor in Psychology from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. I am currently in the second year of SIUE’s three year Master Program for Art Therapy and Counseling.
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. My interest in art began at an early age and has become a passion that is continually evolving. Coming of age through the sport of gymnastics has wired my brain for building skills based upon a foundation of core techniques that are similar to learning how to throw clay on the potter’s wheel. Working with clay gives me the same kind of energy I had as a child when all I wanted to do was flip, cartwheel and jump. This informs my approach to working with children and art, which provides an avenue of self-expression that integrates the mind, body, and spirit. I believe there is always more than one solution and sometimes gaining a new perspective will offer more choices. It is my hope to establish a working alliance with each student on my caseload and foster an environment where the individual learner can be successful.
Ms. Katie Turek (Alton High School)
My name is Katie Turek and I'm from St. Louis Missouri. I am very excited to be at Alton High School as an art therapy intern for the 2017-2018 school year. I have always gravitated towards the arts as a child and took as many art classes as possible throughout my schooling. In high school I had the privilege of being mentored by our school's art teacher. The encouragement and passion she showed her students inspired me to become an art teacher so I could have a positive impact on young lives like she did with so many. In 2012 I graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a Bachelors in Fine Art with a concentration in K-12 Art Education and a minor in Art History. I taught middle school art for two years in the Riverview Gardens School District in North Saint Louis County. After working with my students and seeing the need for more mental health services, I realized my true calling was in art therapy.
As a graduate student, I've had the opportunity to intern at a local Head Start Program, St. Louis Children's Hospital, a senior residential community housing independent living, assisted living, and long term nursing home residence, and now at Alton High School. I will be graduating from SIUE's Art Therapy Counseling Program in May 2018 and hope to return to a school setting as an art therapist and licensed professional counselor.