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Jim McClure

Digital Arts
“For the first time in history, we are now interacting with far more people “virtually” than face-to-face…I think it is one of the greatest challenges for this generation of educators.”

High Mowing is a community that deeply values the arts, and I enjoy being able to teach “digital” arts topics with an emphasis on the “arts,” beyond just the “digital!” To me, art establishes and nurtures emotional connections, and inspires a capacity for creative problem solving- qualities that are important in everyone’s life. Where other schools are cutting back on arts programs, I enjoy teaching at a school in which the arts are a central part of its curriculum.

Outside of High Mowing, I am the principal of a sound recording studio. I work with musicians, filmmakers and other artists to produce musical albums, concert videos, independent narrative and documentary films, providing sound support, musical scoring, and other services. One of the benefits of my work at the studio is that I am often able to offer students a chance to intern on a musical project, film set, or a concert recording. This is a great opportunity for the students to get real-world experience and at the same time that the artists benefit from having an enthusiastic crew.

I attended a private preparatory high school in Pennsylvania. Although I had some good teachers, I would say that my school was overly concerned with surface impressions—students wore coats and ties—but not involved enough in nurturing the students in a social or emotional sense. One of the things that I like best about High Mowing is that the school attends to the whole person—not just intellectual knowledge, but also social, moral, and emotional growth and well-being. It is really more of a community than just a school, and in that sense, we (faculty, staff, and students) recognize the totality of each other, rather than narrowly focusing on intellectual capacity.

Seeing ourselves as parts of a whole is more relevant than ever, in the advent of the Internet and crowd-sourced information and collaboration. When I was in school, we had the feeling that we had to grab all the knowledge we possibly could, because once we left, we would no longer have access to expert wisdom and guidance. Now, the greatest challenge is to filter, evaluate, and absorb the flood of information that engulfs us. The promise of this collaboration is great, but it poses a challenge to our critical thinking and discriminatory skills. How do we judge the veracity and usefulness of the information we receive, incorporating the best of what our fellow humans have to offer? This calls for the development of new intellectual, social, and moral skills, and I think it is one of the greatest challenges for this generation of educators.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York – B.S. Electrical, Systems Engineering, additional concentrations in music and economics

Berkeley College of Music, Boston – music production, arranging, and business management