Allison Pace Joins the Art Department


Anna Van der Linden

Ms. Pace poses in the art room
Ms. Pace poses in the art room

By Anna Van der Linden, Natalie Luongo, and Erin Pitman

The first day of school is always intimidating, no matter what your age. There are the constant worries of being late, getting lost, or forgetting something. Students are typically the ones to feel this stress, but we often forget that new teachers at a school can be just as nervous. Allison Pace, a new art teacher at Walpole High School, is adjusting just fine. Ms. Pace is changing the way students look at art. Her Freshman Foundations and Design I classes offer a wide overview of the art classes available to students and allow them to express themselves.

Pace has not always focused on art. She started out as an architect for a number of years after college. However, in 2006, she began to teach screen-printing at an after-school program in Rhode Island. “That was the point when I really decided that I wanted to go into teaching,” Pace said. In 2010, she went back to school to get her Masters Degree in teaching and then moved to Portland, Oregon, to begin to working in special education. She then began teaching art at an after-school program, nurturing her lifelong passion for drawing and printing.

Earlier this year, Pace moved back east to take an art-teaching position at Walpole High School. “The community, both the student and the teaching community, seems like a really positive and close-knit community,” she said. “It’s just a really nice teaching environment.”

Growing up, Pace was nervous about speaking in front of people. However, teaching is based on communication, which has taught her to overcome that fear. Pace expects that she will get even more out of her job as the year goes on. “I am going to constantly be growing as a teacher,” she said. If something does not go as planned in class, she expects feedback, so she can make adjustments and improve as a teacher.

Art is difficult for some students who fear being wrong or ridiculed, but she wants her students to leave those thoughts behind when they enter art class. She encourages her students to keep an open mind when working on a project or focusing on a piece of art. Pace said, “Experiment with everything, and try not to feel self-conscious…That’s part of the process of creating your art.”

Pace is setting the stage for a great year at Walpole High School. She loves the classes she is teaching but said that other opportunities for other classes such as an architecture or print-making class would be favorable. “I want to keep teaching here for as long as I can, because this is really what I want to be doing.”