Jackie Wildermuth Earns Masters and Implements New Advisory Curriculum
Middle School Trailblazers kicked off Advance Week this year by collaboratively crafting an 8-foot tall tree comprised of home-made branches, leaves, and roots that symbolize different elements of the Woodlawn community. This “Communi-tree” is on display in Klein Hall and is the first project associated with the new Middle School Advisory Program, designed by Jackie Wildermuth.
Mrs. Wildermuth, lower and middle school art and life skills teacher, recently earned her M.A. of Arts and Liberal Studies from UNC Charlotte, where she designed her own art education curriculum over the course of two years. When it was time to plan her culminating Capstone project last fall, Mrs. Wildermuth identified a need for a structured middle school advisory program at Woodlawn. With the intention of laying a foundation for a stronger sense of community in the middle school, Mrs. Wildermuth designed a focused personal development curriculum that incorporates art and life skills. Jackie comments, “There is a natural connection between what happens in the art studio and skills that students need for life. Through art they learn collaboration, problem solving, flexibility, and appreciating different perspectives.”
Middle School Advisory is now on the weekly schedule as “Face to Face,” where students meet with their grade-level advisors and participate in community-building and personal development activities. The curriculum is designed to allow other teachers to infuse their own ideas and strengths into the program. Mrs. Wildermuth adds that, “All ideas are better when other people can build upon them. It’s only getting better now with more teachers involved.”
Mrs. Wildermuth’s new advisory curriculum aims to add the curricular structure for our unique sense of community found on campus. When asked to reflect on the tree activity and the Woodlawn community, Gussie F. ’25 shares that each “Communi-tree” is a, “group of people that we can all trust and relate to. It’s our own little Woodlawn family.”