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THE SPOTLIGHT West Boylston Arts Foundation, Inc. “Keeping  School  Arts  Strong” November 2011

Why the WBAF Does What it Does The West Boylston Arts Foundation came into being when budget cuts seriously threatened school arts and music programs. Parents rallied and students spoke at town meeting. Money was donated and funds raised. And programs were saved. So are we still needed? Yes. The WBAF has given the School Department some breathing room, but the Foundation still fills a gap to maintain programs, provide extra assistance for equipment, and funds supplement programs to improve educational opportunities. To create a great school systems takes more than taxes, it requires citizens that care. Having a great school system creates a cascade of positive effects that benefit every resident and business in town. We want to do our part so that the West Boylston schools are able to hold up the arts as one of the many attributes, along with academics, sports, a safe environment and extracurricular activities, that give students, teachers, parents and our entire community bragging rights about the excellent quality of education that our town provides.

The WBAF wants to help make our schools places where the students thrive and look forward to learning. The arts allow young students that are busting out with energy a chance to actively learn as they create. Students that study arts are stronger students for it. The WBAF will continue to advocate for educational excellence that includes all the arts, for all the grades.

Hooray for Mrs. Tetler! Speaking of excellence and pride in our schools, West Boylston High School art teacher, Sheila Tetler, has been awarded first place as 2012 Massachusetts Secondary Art Teacher of the Year from the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Mrs. Tetler has been inspiring West Boylston students for 21 years, including former student Leia Roberts, West Boylston’s  elementary and middle school art teacher. As the faculty sponsor for the National Arts Honor Society at WBHS, she is a mentor to students who challenges them to do their best and constantly improve their skills. Mrs.  Tetler’s  students  have been recognized for their achievements, including the 2011 Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, and she has influenced many who have gone on to college and careers in the arts. Congralutions, Mrs. Tetler!

WBAF Board Welcomes Lynn Babineau

To view  Lynn’s work go to and also on Facebook at: Art by Lynn. You may also contact her by email

At  the  WBAF’s  October  Meeting,  the  positions  of  our   current officers and directors including Sarah O’Connor,  Carolynn  Somma,  Mark  Baldi,  Deb   Corbett, and Bryan Fancy, were renewed. With one vacancy open due to the retirement of former Superintendent Tom Kane, the Board accepted the application of West Boylston artist and resident Lynn Babineau to join the Board.

Points of Note

Lynn Babineau works primarily in watercolor, watercolor collage and miniature watercolor portraits on ivory. Lynn grew up in northwest Indiana where here early education encouraged creativity and sparked her passion for art. While still in school she received a scholarship to study with artist Neil Kienitz who introduced her to watercolor painting. More recently, Lynn has studied with author and teacher, Gerald Brommer, where she learned the technique of watercolor collage. Lynn also recently discovered the lost art of miniature watercolor portraits on ivory and includes these small treasures in her repertoire. While working for a Worcester art education publisher Lynn learned how important art education is to developing the critical thinking skills children need to be able to compete in the 21st century. Lynn is dedicated to advocating for the arts and making them available and accessible to everyone in hopes that it can enrich the lives of others as it has enriched hers. The  WBAF  is  excited  to  have  Lynn  on  “Board”.    We   look forward to having her share her ideas and enthusiasm. We are sure that she will provide some fresh  perspective  and  energy  to  help  “keep  our  school   arts  strong”.      

Who  could’ve  figured  for  a  Nor’easter   dumping more than a foot of snow on the weekend before Halloween? Needless to say, the  WBAF’s  Haunted  Common  was  cancelled.     Nonetheless, thanks to Sarah  O’Connor, Tim Wilder, Gretchen DeMarsh, Sandy Ivins, and all the other volunteers that put a lot of hard work and planning into scaring up some spooky fun.    We’ll  try   again next year. Rah, rah, sis-boom-ba for the brand new WB Middle/High School pep band. Ruth Mayhew, the Major Edwards band teacher, started this September as the Middle School band teacher, and wasted no time whipping her crew in shape to cheer on the Lions football team. Could this be the shades of a marching band to come? We hope so. Thanks to the generosity of former WBHS art teacher, Emily Boosahda, and her family, the students of Major Edwards Elementary School now have a brand new, custom-built display case in which to show off their artwork. The case was built by WBAF friend and supporter Steve Milliard with memorial funds donated in honor of Leo Boosahda. Thank you, Mrs. Boosahda. The West Boylston Arts Foundation finally has a new Facebook page to share updates, comments, and ideas. Please look up West Boylston Arts Foundation and  ‘like”   the WBAF on Facebook to be a Friend.

November Meeting The  WBAF’s  next  meeting  will  be  7:00 PM, Tuesday, November 8, in the faculty room at WBHS. Please come and share your enthusiasm and ideas to support school arts & music education.

WBAF Spotlight November 2011