Alum joins Art Department teaching staff


Karaj Singh

Katie Hyken ’04, a new teacher at Stevenson High School, teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Art, Art & Design, Sculpture, Ceramics, Drawing and a Special Education Fine Arts Survey. As a former Stevenson student, Hyken always wanted to work at the school she attended.

“I’ve always done art ever since I can remember,” Hyken said. “I chose Stevenson because of the arts programs they had. That’s kind of how everything started.”

Up until now, Hyken had worked at Mundelein High School, but when a position at Stevenson opened up, she was eager to apply.

Just like her own teachers had done for her while she was a student, Hyken wants to be there for her students’ journeys.

“It’s really cool to see at the beginning of a semester where a student starts and then see their progress throughout the semester,” Hyken said. “It’s a really great journey that they’ve been on. It’s really exciting seeing that.”

Hyken’s bond with students was just one of the reasons she was hired. She met a number of standards set by the art department. Hyken had previous experience teaching AP Art and had some familiarity teaching at Stevenson during summer classes.

“I surveyed the teachers in our art department when we were hiring a new colleague to see what sort of skills they think we should address and what our department really needs,” Jonathan Grice, Director of Fine Arts, said.

Through the survey, the department found their new hire needed more experience in three dimensional art. Hyken’s main forte is ceramics, a style of three dimensional art. To her, it is something she can always go back to in order to destress herself.

“When I’m making ceramics, I’m very calm, and it helps me relax, be myself and feel happy,” Hyken said. “I feel like art in general is just really calming for me.”  

Working alongside the teachers who taught her how to further develop her love for art has gotten Hyken to where she is today. As more time passed, Hyken saw the relationships with her former teachers changing.

“It’s really fun working with past teachers that I had,” Hyken said. “At the beginning it was a little bit odd, but it’s really exciting because I get to see another side to them. I just love working with them.”