STEVENSVILLE — Caden Crook, a sophomore at Kent Island High, is the Queen Anne’s County Public Schools Visual Arts Teen of the Week. It is also worth noting that creativity and student achievement often coincide. In Caden’s case, he is also a straight A honors / advanced placement student, and his work ethic transcends across all curricula.

This speaks volumes as to the importance of the arts within a well-rounded educational experience. When speaking with Caden’s 2-D Studio Art I teacher, Andrea Schulte, Art Department chair at KIHS, she said she has found the most passionate artists often unknowingly reveal themselves through the pages of their visual journals first—long before big masterful paintings are realized.

“The free flow of thoughts captured, the documented development of ideas, and the media experimentation reveals so much about how they think and why they create,” said Schulte.

“I have been impressed by Caden ever since his very first journal entry and have continued to be every week since. He continually selects the most challenging prompts, and it is clear that there is significant time and effort invested. He treats all of his work with the same respect, whether it’s a visual journal entry or a painting. As you can imagine, his larger works are equally impressive due his admirable innate desire to push himself and constantly refine.”

One of Schulte’s favorite things about Caden is also his classroom leadership. He has no problem offering suggestions and support to his peers, and Schulte jokes that he’s her “teaching assistant” because he usually says exactly what she would when helping other students.

“Drawing art, especially in sketches,” said Caden, “is something I’ve done for my whole life to the point where it’s my go-to hobby. Mrs. Schulte’s class taught me a lot about composition and 2-D art techniques I’ll use in the future, especially using watercolors.”

Caden’s artwork has been showcased locally and was recently submitted to the National Scholastic Art Competition. All of Caden’s work will be on display Thursday, April 28, at Kent Island High School’s 2022 re-launch of ArtScene, along with 500 other student works on display K-12 across all Kent Island feeder schools.

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