Give a Warm Welcome to Our New Art Teacher! 

Drake Weber, IV Leader Writer

Before becoming a professor at Illinois Valley Community College as an art teacher, Shannon Slaight-Brown earned several degrees throughout her educational career. 

Originally from Princeton, Illinois, Slaight-Brown graduated from IVCC with her Certificate in Dental Assisting plus an Associates in Art and an Associates in Science. She continued her higher education at Illinois State University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, a Studio Art degree, and a minor in Art History. She later received a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. 

She credits several of her art teachers as well as her parents for inspiring her to become an art teacher.  Slaight-Brown commented “the one who helped me realize my dream was Karen Zeilman at IVCC, she believed in me and encouraged me. Encouragement can move mountains.”

Slaight-Brown has been teaching for over 5 years. Prior to IVCC she taught Ceramics 1, Ceramics 2 and Art Appreciation at Illinois Central College in Peoria, IL.  She stated that, “a favorite part of being a teacher is when her students get pumped or excited about something art related.” 

Overall, her motivation to continue teaching comes from her students first but also emphasizes that having a good support system and feeling valued is important. She feels learning helps students to grow and become better people. She stressed that, “art comes to us in so many different ways, that there is not one person in this world who has not been affected by it.”

Additionally, some skills Slaight-Brown feels that are important to be a successful teacher are, kindness, enthusiasm, passion, and dedication to one’s field. She feels that, “teachers are some of the most important individuals you will ever come in contact with.” As a current student enrolled in her class this coming semester I look forward to learning more about art. 

Along with her passion of teaching art and working with students, she enjoys spending time with her son and parents. She loves nature and can be found gardening, foraging for mushrooms, and edible plant life. She also enjoys music, cooking, eating, and singing. 

When asked what is your favorite snack she commented, “I love cheese!” Havarti, Smoked Gouda, and Sharp Cheddar being some of her favorites.