Faculty profile: Ms. Kelly

Carver Hix ’25

Ms. Dawn Kelly is the ceramics, mixed media, and art appreciation teacher in her 6th year at Strake Jesuit. She is from Kingston, Jamaica and has been teaching art classes in Houston Catholic schools for over 25 years. She began at St. Cecilia’s Catholic School, then went to the Regis school and is now at Jesuit.

“It’s very fulfilling that I have stayed in the faith environment,” Ms. Kelly said, “and the one thing that I really enjoy is seeing boys I taught when they were four years old and then teaching them again and seeing them graduate. It really brings everything together.”

Ms. Kelly educates students using many different art media, but she confirmed that her favorite art to teach is now ceramics. However, her favorite art to teach “changes all the time. It used to be watercolor,” she said.

During our conversation, Ms. Kelly praised the “people and community” at Strake Jesuit and expressed her enjoyment in the connection the school community has towards the faith, but she also commented on the challenges of her job, saying it is sometimes hard “ getting the students to appreciate art.”

Ms. Kelly is also the Art for Others Club moderator and aids students in the school’s various art competitions. “It’s been fulfilling being able to do Crusader Arts and collecting things to donate for the Art for Others Club because it’s really nice to know that we can do that,” she said.

Ms Kelly teaches dozens of students, and rather than what they create, she is most surprised by their what they say. “Every once in awhile you get someone who’s really into it and students who appreciate it,” Ms. Kelly said. “I am mostly surprised by their input, like when they take interest and ask questions about art.”

Ms. Kelly’s most rewarding aspect her job is her students. “It’s always nice when someone’s not just making what you are telling them to make,” she said, “but digging deeper and making things with purpose. That’s what makes it all worthwhile.”