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katiebarrett1284words by wanghonghx

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									The ultimate connection           sketchbooks, portfolios,         like innovative people and
between mind and hand             pastels and head for one of      innovative things. I just really
showcased as she hunches          the most prestigious art         like things out of the
over her desk, glancing from      schools in the country,          ordinary.”
paper to paint, mixing colors     Maryland Institute College of
in a circular motion, dabbing     Art to enroll her in the class   She also found inspiration in
paint and back to paper.          of 2012.                         the teacher of her favorite
Breaking concentration, she                                        course at Hunterdon Central,
glances around for seconds,       She first heard about MICA       Honors G&T art 2 and 3, Mrs.
just enough time to fuel a        from a friend who had            Jacobsen. “I love how she
conversation with amusing         considered attending. Going      openly shows us what she’s
                                  into her visit she also had      up to,” she said. After
stories or belt out lyrics to I
miss you by Blink 182 or          considerations at Tyler          graduating MICA, Katie
Pink Floyd’s Pigs (three          School of the Arts in            hopes to follow a similar
different ones.) Hunterdon        Philadelphia, but after a tour   career path as a practicing
Central senior and early          of MICA she knew that it was     artist and inspirational
graduate, Katie Barrett, is       the place for her.               teacher.
beginning her future in the       “I’m eager to learn              While the impact of
arts by taking advantage of       something new, a new             Jacobsen is evident in katie’s
Central’s early graduation        technique,” she said. “My        past, present, and future,
option. It has given her the      classes in high school aren’t    Katie’s impact is apparent in
opportunity to continue           as challenging as I’d like       Mrs. Jacobsen’s teaching.
living her life of art,           them to be.” By constantly       “She was always original,”
constantly altering and           challenging her artistic         she said. “That’s the best
adding to her masterpiece,        capabilities and self she has    thing you can look for in a
while taking inspiration from     had the ability to grow          student, always trying new
anywhere and everywhere.          tremendously over the past       things.”
Katie is one of twenty five       four years.
                                                                   While Mrs. Jacobsen has
students concluding her           Balancing a more rigorous        encountered a fair number
senior year in half the time.     schedule in order to meet        of students who chose the
Some plan to attend Raritan       graduation requirements,         early graduation route, Katie
Valley Community College,         her job at Tea Berry’s in        was Mrs. Jacobsen’s first
some need time off, others        Flemington, two years on the     student to jump right in to
just aren’t cut out for school,   swim team and a social life      her future at a four year art
but Katie Barrett falls into no   has taken hard work but          school. Her pride and
such categories. Just one day     more importantly, passion        excitement for Katie was
after graduating, Jeff and        about what she loves most.       evident. “She has pure
Tom Barrett, Katie’s father                                        beautiful skills and the
and brother will fill their car   “I’m inspired by things I find   imagination that could make
with her belongings,              interesting, breakthrough        those two blend,” she said.
paintbrushes, pencils,            artists,” she explained. “ I
Katie breathes enthusiasm,       Vice Principal of the Class of   his/her parents, counselor,
ceaselessly investing her        2009 Jennifer Spieker also       and Ms. Steffner.
interest and imagination         took notice of the increase
into new things. By wearing      in early graduation requests.    Spieker agrees that the
                                                                  process is simple and
only white and neutrals at all   With such abundance in
times, she strives to            desire to follow this path,      approval rates are higher. “It
represent the energy of all      there is often speculation       has become easier because
colors together while            that not all of these            of how crowded we are.”
maintaining a consciously        students are prepared. “I        she said. In her many years
and physically more well         think it’s an individual thing   of experience dealing with
kept and pure lifestyle. For     and some kids are just ready     teenage students and
                                                                  [increasing] early
her Gifted and Talented art      to move on,” she said.
3 independent study, she         “Other kids hear that people     graduation, Spieker has
filled an empty, used, sink      are leaving and jump on the      noticed that community
with foam and painted it         bandwagon.” Overall,             college is a very popular
with primary colored paint.      Spieker feels that high          option. Poly-tech students
The same colors in yarn          school is a once in a lifetime   who choose to graduate
form are found streaming         experience and in order to       early are generally career-
from the faucet. Her theme       give that up a student           bound out of high school.
and focus for the                should be certain.               Student Hilarie Kaczetow
independent study was                                             who plans to graduate early
childhood.                       The system of graduating
                                 early is one that requires       alongside Katie is also
The option to graduate early     motivation but is an             striving for a career in art.
is something that an             incredibly easy process          With her beautiful graphic
increasing amount of             overall. First, a student must   skills, she plans to take a
students are finding out         consult his/her counselor to     drawing class at RVCC and
about at an earlier stage in     alter schedule in order to       find an internship at a local
their high school careers.       complete required credits.       tattoo parlor and work her
Senior house office mother       Next, the student must finish    way towards a career as a
and Secretary Mrs. Rocha         the necessary forms in           tattoo artist. “I want to
was somewhat surprised by        enough time to be reviewed       farther my career earlier
this year’s early-graduate       by the Board of education.       rather than waiting until my
turnout. “There has never        Along with these forms the       excitement fades,” she said.
been this many,”                 student must compose a           “I feel like for me personally,
commented Rocha. A total of      letter describing why they       another semester in high
38 with 7 juniors graduating     are requesting early             school and a four year
at the end of this year, 1       graduation and what they         college would do that.” In
senior at the end of third       plan on doing once it is         addition to the effort she
quarter, 25 seniors at the       granted. The form must be        puts into following her
end of second quarter and 7      signed by the student’s Vice     dream, Hilarie works as a
                                 Principle, the student,          waitress and a secretary
seniors after first quarter.
hoping to move west and            tones of her giving the
declare her independence.          finger.

Hilarie also uses Katie as a       At MICA, Katie will continue
huge inspiration as she            to march to the beat of her
pursues such a future. Hilarie     own drum and represent
first met Katie through the        Hunterdon Central as surely
art program at Hunterdon           one of the most unique in
Central and since that             her class. Mrs. Jacobsen
moment, Hilarie feels she          portrays it perfectly, “The
has been driven to find her        art room has always been
own edge as an artist. “Katie      her place. She could be
has taught me so much              herself there.”
about art,” she said. “She’s
shown me new techniques
and styles, but more
importantly, an attitude that
teachers have never been
able to demonstrate to me
and that’s just the way she
lives.”

As Friday approaches, fellow
students, early graduates,
friends and teachers can’t
help but be sad about such a
bittersweet situation.

Not needing to make a grand
exit, Katie gives a see-you-
soon type of goodbye and
one last encouragement.
“The option to graduate
early, if you’re ready, can be
a great one. There is no point
to wake up early to sit
around and ruin your g.p.a.
or take b.s. classes,” she said.
This is coming from a girl
whose self portrait was an
entirely blurred, 2,000
square portrait in green

								
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