Finding a New Home

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By Josh Jordan

Bonnie Ahrens has been teaching students for 11 years and counting. She first started teaching art during college at a Catholic school, because they could not afford licensed teachers. She eventually made her way until she finally started teaching at Mount Vernon High School. Before teaching at Mount Vernon, she taught at Conestoga High School in Nebraska for 10 years and at Marshalltown for a year. She switched to Mount Vernon High School because of her husband’s work and because the job opportunity had just opened.

Art teacher Bonnie Ahrens works on her laptop during her Drawing and Painting class fourth hour.

The transition however, was not as easy as you would think. “When you live in the same place for a long time you get into a routine,” Mrs. Ahrens said. “You have your favorite takeout restaurants and your favorite sushi place and when you move you have to find all new hang out places and you have to make new friends.  When you get stuck in your ways, change can be hard.”

After she had gotten situated and reorganized the art room, she found Mount Vernon to be a special place. “It’s not a secret that there are dozens and dozens of extremely skilled artists here at Mount Vernon High. This year we’ve already had students honored at the Scholastic State art contest and it took me about three years of trying at my previous school,” said Ahrens.

So far she loves it here at Mount Vernon, not only because of the talented artists, but because our community supports the arts so much. One of the only things Ahrens does not like about Mount Vernon is that it is five days a week. In Nebraska they only had four days of school, so they had a three-day weekend. Ahrens thought this was “pretty magical” since they did not have to go to school on Mondays. Currently Mrs. Ahrens loves her experiences at Mount Vernon and has no intention on leaving this ”rare place” anytime soon.