Monthly Archives: August 2013

Big Picture Fellow, 2013–14

john photo

By Ashley Weinard, Project Director, The Big Picture Educator Enrichment Program

The North Carolina Museum of Art is pleased to announce that this year’s Big Picture Teaching Fellowship has been awarded to John Scarfpin. John is a STEM teacher at West Craven Middle School in New Bern. As the Big Picture Fellow, John will integrate the visual arts into his middle school instruction, develop and share arts-integrated lesson plans with STEM educators statewide, and teach professional development classes at the museum and around the state that model ways of moving STEM instruction to STE-A-M learning.

Here is what John hopes to accomplish during his year-long fellowship:

“I am a father, husband and a teacher. While it can be difficult to maintain a balance at times each of these things makes me better at the others. I am a passionate driven professional educator and a lifelong learner.  I have an insatiable desire to learn new things combined with a desire to share with anyone willing to listen. The Big Picture Teacher Fellows program is providing me with an opportunity to learn from a professional institution and relay that knowledge to my students through art integration in my STEM Learning Center. It is my hope that through the integration of Art into the STEM curricula we can engage more students and provide a more holistic approach. I see this as a chance to forge a lasting partnership that can provide my students with opportunities they would not normally have.”

Thanks, John, for being so motivated to make art part of your curriculum. We look forward to learning from you!

Integrating Local Art: New Bern’s WPA Murals

By Steven Hill, History Teacher, J.H. Rose High School, Greenville, NC

Summers usually find me teaching a class or two at ECU, but I also make it a point to do some authentic research on a topic of personal interest. This summer, I chose to investigate WPA murals in North Carolina. My research led me to discover that there were some interesting Depression-era murals in nearby New Bern. Unfortunately, I could not find adequate images of them online. So I gained access to the Federal Courthouse and took photographs to use in my history lessons and share with colleagues this fall. I plan to explore the images in conjunction with my classroom lessons about the American Revolution, judicial review, and use of the printing press.


Take a look at my Lesson Plan to see more images of the New Bern murals and how I plan to incorporate them into my curriculum using discussion strategies I learned at a North Carolina Museum of Art teacher workshop.


Look around your local community for art resources to integrate into your instruction. You will be surprised what you might find just down the road. Your local arts council can help point you in the right direction.