Ms. Caldwell is Swanson’s Theatre Arts teacher and is enjoying her fourth year of teaching with APS. She has previously worked as a theatre teacher at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, a teaching assistant, and an artistic director for community theatre. In her spare time, Ms. Caldwell is also a performer.
Born into a family of educators, Ms. Caldwell has always worked with children. “At first, I ran from teaching, but I finally decided to do what made me happy and it has always been working with students in the arts. Ms. Caldwell credits her mentor and pastor, Deron Cloud, with her inspiration. “He taught me all I know about leadership and integrity.”
Ms. Caldwell enjoys her job with APS and feels that APS really supports the arts. She stated, “Although we are not a performing arts school, what this school provides is an education for the “whole” child.” To Ms. Caldwell, drama classes are, “…. important to build confidence, learn how to collaborate with others different from themselves which also builds empathy and not to mention public speaking skills.“ Her day was made when a student wrote her a note that said, “I’m better because you said I could be better.”
When asked what advice she would give to others aspiring to be in a similar role she replied, “You have to be secure with yourself and be willing to stand alone, be courageous enough to take some risks and be a trailblazer if you need to be and lastly, treat others the way you yourself would want to be treated, and be willing to make a mistake and apologize for it. “
Ms. Caldwell’s dream job would be to own her own performing arts center, teaching classes, directing shows, and traveling abroad with students.