Bishop Kelley dedicates art building to former teacher
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Thursday, September 20, 2012
9/20/12 at 4:08 AM
After 40 years of teaching at Bishop Kelley High School, Dee Anne Short decided that it was time to retire and left her art classroom last May.
She wasn't gone for long. She was back Wednesday as the art building at the private Catholic school was renamed the Dee Anne Short Art Center in her honor.
"When you think about leaving something you've done for so long it's kind of scary," Short said. "Now, in a way, I'm always here."
More than 30 current and former teachers Short worked with and current and former students Short taught came to the dedication and blessing ceremony.
The Rev. Brian O'Brien, president at Bishop Kelley, said to have a teacher stay at a school for 40 years and dedicate her life to teaching her students is a marvel.
"If there was ever anyone who let their light shine for others, it was Dee Anne," O'Brien said during the ceremony.
When Short started, there were only three art classes offered during the six-period school day, but in just four years, art was being offered every period.
"When block scheduling started, that's when the art program exploded," she said. "There's not a better job in the world than teaching art."
Although her master's degree from the University of Oklahoma is in art, Short also taught yearbook, world religion, humanities, English and creative writing, but her heart was in her art classroom.
Short said when she started teaching, she was still figuring out her own faith and life, and that helped her be a better teacher.
"There were lots of kids who were having that same thing," she said. "It's good for them to have someone to relate to."
Ultimately it was her fellow teachers and her students that kept her in the classroom for four decades, Short said.
"Every year you would get these kids who were wonderful and you wanted to see them develop," she said, and she's seen some of her students become professional artists. "That's what teachers teach for, that they'll influence their students."
Deciding to retire wasn't an easy decision, but Short said the time was right.
"I felt a little selfish to hold on to something for this long," she said, so she handed the reins over to former student Anna Kallstrom.
"Anna, she was one of my very best students, I felt comfortable with her here."
Kallstrom said she's grateful for the opportunity to take over for her teacher.
She left "very big shoes to fill," she said.
"Fortunately, I was one of her students. I know her lessons; I know how it should be taught."
Seeing Short's name on a plaque outside the art building is satisfying.
"I think it's very well-deserved," Kallstrom said. "Forty years is a long time of service."
Original Print Headline: Bishop Kelley art building dedicated to former teacher
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Former teacher Dee Anne Short (left) walks into an art building bearing her name Wednesday after a ceremony led by the Rev. Brian O'Brien (right) at Bishop Kelley High School. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Dee Anne Short closes her eyes for a blessing Wednesday. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World