Brooke Kleinsmith, a Junior Theatre Major, sat down with some of her Performing Arts classmates to discuss and celebrate one of this school's wonderful faculty, Ms. Lyons.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In 2021, more than 4 in 10 (42%) students felt persistently sad or hopeless and nearly one-third (29%) experienced poor mental health.” Mental health amongst students is a very important issue and should be taken as so. A survey sample BAVPA students showed that they all agreed who should win this month’s teacher spotlight: Ms. Lyons (226). The main reason arts students chose her was the respect she has for her student’s mental health.
During our exam prep, she took time to teach us how to calm down, regulate our emotions, and what to do during the test if we started to feel stressed. One method was to squeeze our hands tight for thirty seconds and releasing to feel the “pressure lifted”. Most students get stressed during tests and exams and it was refreshing to also prep our state of mind.
“What is something Ms. Lyons has done or said that had an impact on you?” Our best students’ answers came from this question. Natalie Stockmeyer, a senior theater major also the senior class vice president said, “I love when she can recognize what the class needs and how to help us, like with activities. I’ve never enjoyed an English class or reading and writing in general until I had her class”. Ms. Lyons often does activities that corelate to our lessons. For example, Natalie also mentioned, “The activities she does are all argument based and they teach you how to properly form an agreement. It helped me so much with my essays.” These activities bring the class together by sharing our opinions in a healthy judgement-free zone. The questions certainly help with critical thinking and most of the time the topics are something we’re interested in. Overall, Ms. Lyons activities are appreciated by many students.
Another student who mentioned mental health, Ava Heffron, a senior theater major, detailed an incident earlier this year and believes Ms. Lyons handled the situation very well. Ava stated, “She just seems more caring and more aware of mental health. Not a lot of teachers are so quick to understand and help”. The students surveyed agreed that Ms. Lyons deserved a lot of credit and thanks for all she does for the student population.
Another student, Brendan Lindley, a junior percussion major, spoke about Fall Fest (organized by Ms. Lyons), “I really liked Fall Fest. It was the Junior ambassador’s first ever festival and I feel like we really hit the nail on the head. I feel like we proved to people that we were slowing rebuilding the BAVPA family.” Fall Fest was talked about for weeks after. People really enjoyed it, many felt school related stress was manageable after having a fun event.
Many upperclassmen students who have or had Ms. Lyons have felt a positive, long-lasting impact from her teachings. We recognize and appreciate Ms. Lyons for all her hard work and dedication.