Cassidy Moravy-Penschansky’s Return to Community


A snippet of the art piece Moravy-Penchansky has in her possession.

“It’s like my smile can’t be big enough, like my face can’t put the emotion on it,” said Cassidy Moravy-Penchansky, Steve Coron’s new student art teacher, as she described the feeling she gets when she experiences teaching connections with students. “It fills you up and makes you content and it gives you a purpose. You’re like, ‘This is what I’m here for, this is why I do this.’”

Community High School (CHS) is the place where Moravy-Penchansky, class of 2012, realized she wanted to be an art teacher. Moravy-Penchansky had never realized that her love of art and being a mentor to others could put herself in her dream career, but one day “it [just] clicked.” She watched Coron express his love for art and talk about it back when she was a student at CHS. He was a big influence in her pursuit to become an art teacher.

Moravy-Penchansky differentiates herself from most artists. She uses art to connect with others, rather than sitting around and doing art by herself. “Having teaching to help me experience and educate myself on different mediums is really fun, because then I get to learn it and teach it to other people, and they get the same enjoyment that I get out of it,” Moravy-Penchansky said. “Being able to give that joy to somebody else is probably my favorite part about art.” She still considers herself an artist, but is now using her skills through teaching instead.

Before returning to CHS, Moravy-Penchansky student taught at STEAM, a K-8 school focused on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. There, she met a lot of children who didn’t speak English. She worried that she would not be able to explain what she wanted from them in their art, because they could not understand one another. She wanted to help encourage these kids, so they could blossom and open up. One day Moravy-Penchansky  pulled out her Google Translate app and spoke into her phone, “Hi, my name’s Ms. Cassidy.” The students “took off” and their connection with her flourished due to the effort she was making to communicate. One of the most impactful things Moravy-Penchansky experienced at STEAM is that art transcends language.

Moravy-Penchansky hopes to successfully improve students’ art skills in one of the drawing classes at CHS while graduating from Eastern Michigan University. After her experiences in student teaching, finding a job at a high school in Ann Arbor will be the next goal on Moravy-Penchansky’s list.

“To be back and giving back to this population of students that are here because of the [same] reasons that I was here is going to be rewarding,” Moravy-Penchansky said.

Cassidy Moravy-Penchansky grades students’ tests in the art room.
She graduated from Community in 2012, and is currently
a student at Eastern Michigan University.