• Published August 22, 2023

    A Nolensville High art teacher had the opportunity to explore Italy after being named a 2023 fellow of the Fund for Teachers organization.

    NHS teacher Heather McHugh invested approximately 100 hours in research, writing and planning for her two-week fellowship. Her proposal discussed the ways in which students might benefit from learning about the art of the Etruscan civilization and the process of fresco, which is a technique of mural painting on top of freshly laid lime plaster.

    "The frescoes of the ancient Etruscan people, the 'first inhabitants' of Italy, are fascinating to me," McHugh said. "I believe the origins of humankind and the creative process of ancient people groups is interesting. It allows us the insight into societal structure as well as provides a glimpse into their daily lives in a way few other things can."

    Though McHugh had previously led several student groups to Italy, she had not explored everything she wanted.

    "That's what drove me to apply for this fellowship," she said. "I wanted to see how this affects my students, my professional learning community and the community of Nolensville at large."

    While in Italy, McHugh learned about the historical process used by the Etruscan people to create frescoes. She also saw pieces of art that have been a part of her curriculum for years.

    "I had the privilege of seeing Sarcophagus of the Spouses, an image required by the Advanced Placement (AP) College Board," McHugh said. "I've been teaching about that image in AP Art History for 10 years, and it's awesome to now have first-hand knowledge."

    McHugh says she is excited to share her knowledge with her classes at Nolensville High.

    "I love art history, and bringing this experience into my teaching creates authentic teaching and learning for everyone," she said. "I look forward to exploring the techniques of fresco with my classes, and I am actively seeking a place in Nolensville to create a public art fresco mural with my students."