Relatability key for Maskarinec

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Dylan Emory, Editor, Staff Writer

New TJ middle school art teacher Kelly Maskerinec didn’t set out to be an art teacher. But her passion for art led her here to TJ.

“Being an art teacher was not my life goal,” she said. “My background and training is in dealing with art in museums.”

A Shelby native, Maskarinec has a degree in Art History and has worked regionally with the Earl Scruggs Museum in Shelby and the Mint Museum in Charlotte. Her 8th grade art teacher inspired her passion for art.

“And now, ironically, I’m a middle school art teacher,” Masckerinec said.

Maskarinec served as interim art teacher the second half of last school year. A taste of TJ led her back full-time this year.

“Here at TJ, the arts are really important,” she said. “There are lots of options [for students].”

She has started an art club on Tuesdays and Thursdays, open to students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades. Tuesdays is open studio in her room, and Thursdays is studio with more direct guidance.

Outside of school, Maskarinec does pen and ink work, as well as oil painting if her cat cooperates. An Appalachian State University grad, she helped found the still-running Quidditch club at the state school.