Four years ago, Tristin Hicks didn't know what to expect when entering Stewarts Creek High School for the first time. Like all members of that inaugural freshmen class, he was enamored with the newness this fledgling building had to offer. But it wasn't the smell of fresh paint or the untouched classroom floors that caught Tristin's eye - it was the theater lights.
"I took theater because it sounded like fun; I never thought I'd do it all four years," says the Senior, who recently committed to study Theater Performance at the highly-competitive University of Memphis. "Now, I can't imagine my life without the Arts, and I can't wait to start at Memphis this fall."
Tristin, like many of his friends at Stewarts Creek, is a part of the first graduating class that attended Stewarts Creek for all four years. Over that time, Stewarts Creek students have earned over thirty spots in the Governor's School for the Arts, placed over twenty students in an All-State band or choir, and won multiple statewide All-Star Cast Awards. "Attending Governor's School in 2015 really changed my life," says Hicks. "I knew then that Theater would be my life."
On Monday, May 8, Tristin and twenty-seven other Seniors commemorated their intent to study Fine Arts at the collegiate level at the Inaugural Stewarts Creek Fine Arts Signing Day. With parents, teachers, administrators, college representatives, and over three hundred other Fine Arts students in attendance, these seniors were celebrated for their choice to start a career in the Arts. And 28 students is a high number to choose this path, says Brian Russell, Choral Director and Chair of the Fine Arts Department. He says that Fine Arts commitments for the Class of 2017 are at a rate fifty percent higher than the national average.
Donald Fann, one of two Theater teachers at Stewarts Creek, is understandably proud. "They began here four years ago and quickly came together to create something unique," says Fann. "Now, not only have they started traditions of excellence at Stewarts Creek, they are taking that passion for the Arts to the next step. We wish them the best and look forward to their successes."
The following seniors participated in the Fine Arts Signing Day at Stewarts Creek:
Alyssa Bohmeyer, Music Education – University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Christian Crowder, Graphic Design – Savannah College of Art and Design
Noah Davis, Music Business – Middle Tennessee State University
Rex Davis, Music Therapy – Middle Tennessee State University
Andre Espinoza, Music Education – University of Tennessee at Martin
Kaitlyn Estes, Art Education – University of Tennessee at Martin
Bailey Griffin, Music Education – Middle Tennessee State University
Drew Harris, Film/TV Production – Middle Tennessee State University
Zaniah Harris, Musical Theater – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Tristin Hicks, Theater Performance – University of Memphis
Desire Houser, Electronic Media Production & Film – Harding College
Abbagain Johns, Animation/Graphic Design – Motlow State Community College
Emily Knight, Graphic Design – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Teresa Ledbetter, Interior Design – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Bernice Leveque, Theater – Sewannee - University of the South
Amber Molder, Interior Design – Middle Tennessee State University
Tyler Patterson, Music Business – Middle Tennessee State University
Alyssa Rucker, Graphic Design – Savannah College of Art and Design
Megan Shields, Dance Performance – Austin Peay State University
Levi Snider, Music Business – Middle Tennessee State University
Stephen Stoner, Media Production – Motlow State Community College
Meghan Stover, Animation/Graphic Design – Middle Tennessee State University
Erin Sullivan, Art Therapy – Motlow State Community College
Blake Turner, Theater Performance – Middle Tennessee State University
Addison Walden, Music Education – Tennessee Technological University
Shyla Wasser, Graphic Design – Middle Tennessee State University
Ivy Wetherill, Dance Performance – University of Memphis
Carli Young, Musical Theater – Middle Tennessee State University