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By Katrina Margolis
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Throughout middle and high school, it can be hard for students to understand the importance of what they’re learning in a larger context. High Rock School puts in an exceptional amount of effort into bringing in outside speakers to help students make connections between their curriculum and potential careers in the future. The most recent speaker High Rock hosted was graphic novelist Gareth Hinds. “We really try and grow partnerships with the outside community to enrich learning that happens here at High Rock,” Brooke Feldman, Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, said. “We’ve been generously sponsored by the PTC. They have a creative arts fund, and they help put this event on.”
Hinds was the first author of this year, though High Rock has hosted different authors in the past, as well as other types of speakers. “The thing that’s interesting about Gareth’s presentation is that this is a collaboration between a variety of people who all care deeply care about the kids learning,” Feldman explained. “The social studies department, the English department, art, technology integration, the librarian, PTC… everyone working in close collaboration to bring the outside in.” Hinds work brings literature, art, and technology together to show the possibilities of these different areas when combined.
An artist by trade, Hinds’ first graphic novel was an interpretation of “Bearskin,” a Grimm Brothers fairytale. After that, he worked on a miniseries based on “Beowulf.”
“I think it was one of our early superhero stories,” Hinds said. “He’s a Viking warrior who has the strength of 30 men, who goes around fighting monsters nobody else can handle.” He began to realize there was a real need in the educational market, in terms of marketing and presenting these classic works in a way younger students can understand. He has published interpretations of “King Lear,” “Merchant of Venice,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and his upcoming book is a collection of works by “Edgar Allen Poe.”
The section of Hinds’ presentation that presented the most unknown information was when he spoke about his time in the video game industry. “Nowadays, you probably all know that you can work on video games, but at the time it wasn’t something people really knew about,” he said. “If you’ve ever wondered what geometry is used for in the real world, this is exactly it.” Hinds went on to explain the mathematics behind the creation of three-dimensional figures within games.
“Through our creative arts programing, we’ve had different performers and presenters who bring to life our science curriculum and our arts curriculum,” Feldman added. “We’re always looking for [speakers who make] connections across the curriculum.”
Hinds did exactly that.