Two New Faculty Members Transform Landscape of Fine Arts Department


Tvisha Goel

The Arts and Innovation department will look very different this year, as both Mrs. Davis-Rojo and Mrs. Osborne bid goodbye to Benjamin last year. Above, department chair Ms. Ford helps new teachers Ms. Clark and Ms. Duncan navigate some of the technology behind Buclinks.

Clara Schor and Sophia Liporace, Staff Writer and Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Fine Arts department starts the year with a new set of colors, as two new teachers join chair Ms. Melissa Ford in the studios: Ms. Sierra Clark and Ms. Caroline Duran.

With 6 years of experience, Ms. Clark, moving from North Carolina, will be at great new addition to the faculty. Though Benjamin is different from her last school in terms of location and demographics, she is excited to get to work.

“I chose Benjamin because I respected the commitment to academic achievement and moral values,” Ms. Clark said. 

With a new school comes new goals and Ms. Clark is looking forward to helping the department improve as a whole.

“[My goals are] being an asset to the excellent art program by adding diverse perspectives in curriculum content,” she added.

Ms. Duran, who will be making the drive to campus each day from Port St. Lucie, will be teaching all of the department’s ceramics classes, intermediate studio art, and a new design thinking course. 

Not new to art or to teaching, Ms. Duran has taught at magnet school Lincoln Park Academy in Fort Pierce for 6 years, focusing mainly on ceramics, 3D and 2D studio art and middle school studio art.

Ms. Ford is eager to welcome two new assets to her department. 

“I am so excited to welcome both Ms. Clark and Ms. Duran to the Arts and Innovation department. I look forward to seeing the fresh perspectives they will provide our students, as they both demonstrate immense enthusiasm about the arts and passion for teaching,” she said. 

Ms. Duran has always loved being creative and a problem solver as she was naturally pulled towards the arts.

As both of her parents have helped serve their community as firefighter and teacher, she learned that it is important to serve the community. 

To me, education is the most powerful tool that we have to inspire others and change the world in small ways,” she offers. 

Duran began practicing art her freshman year of high school, and her ceramics teacher soon became her teaching mentor. Ms. Duran attended the University of Florida, earning her BFA with a specialization in ceramics. She also had the opportunity to work with noted artists Linda Arbuckle and Nan Smith, who are both in the ceramic field, at the University of Florida. 

Ms. Duran was attracted to Benjamin’s core values in her professional as well as personal life and hopes to help develop a strong ceramics program while promoting student interest in the arts: “Benjamin feels like the perfect fit for me all around, and I feel blessed to be given the opportunity to join the school.”

We welcome Ms. Clark and Ms. Duran to campus and look forward to seeing how they’ll impact our community canvas.