He sought the help of Mrs. Michelle Walker, upper school registrar, to select classes that would fit his individual interests and prepare him for his college coursework.
“We realized a lot of the schools he was applying to were in a department that wasn’t engineering, and that the math class he was in was not a requirement for him,” Walker said. “So we put him in art with Mr. Ryan Baptiste. My thought was that he could work on his story board ideas.”
For many disciplines, it is important to put together a portfolio of work to demonstrate one’s creative ability in a way that cannot be communicated via simple letter grades.
Teachers Mr. Sanders and Mr. Baptiste discussed what Chad could do to meet the art requirements while also helping him create a portfolio for college.
“He uses his computer science class to work on programming and development,” Walker said. “And sometimes he fleshes out ideas for stories in his creative writing class, depending on how much freedom there is in the prompt.”
Baptiste has consulted with friends who are in game design to find out what kind of story boards work best.
“Chad is a remarkable student with extreme talent and imagination,” Baptiste said. “Through the course of the semester I have been teaching students elements of art that include the following: line, shape, space, value, form, texture and color. While some students have been working on the assignments based on a set outline, Chad has been working on assignments specific to his interest in game design. Chad has demonstrated the elements through a series of storyboards and character development. We have used different mediums with a heavy emphasis on graphic design. By doing this, we build confidence in skill and self-awareness.”
This specialized attention is the direct result of staff support and school culture or “supportive spirit” that Baptiste says is “alive at FBCA”.
“The student-teacher ratio allows an excellent classroom environment,” Baptiste said. “This gives me the opportunity to really focus on individual student’s needs. Plus, we have the resources. The class is filled with the right types of mediums necessary to foster creative talent.”
Chad has already been accepted to three colleges to study game design including his top contender, UT Dallas.