Creative Kadets


Original photo by Jessica Cox

Air Academy is a school that harvests many talented artists. From winning district wide competitions to crushing it in our own art shows, these Kadets do it all!

Lead by Jonny O’Lonergan, the art program at Air Academy has opened up many opportunities for our creative Kadets! He has been working in in the Visual Arts program in District 20 for 17 years and has instilled an incredible passion for art in the halls of Air Academy. Yes, literally the halls. Jonny O is the faculty adviser for National Art Honor Society, which has been working on painting murals on the walls of our school for a couple of years. These murals currently stretch from Mrs. Preeshl’s art room all the way down to the ceramics room.

Murals aren’t the only thing that National Art Honor Society has done to make our school beautiful. With leader Harrison Parham, members of NAHS created a beautiful Denver Wolfe inspired mosaic on the side of our school in the bus parking lot. The mosaic piece features a beautiful forest scene with a deer in the foreground. These members worked for weeks over the summer to finish what previous National Art Honor Society president, Denver Wolfe, had started in order to honor the legacy she left.

Along with an incredible Honor Society, the variety of classes that are available to Air Academy students is incredible! Art 1 student Megan Bobo says, “It’s very inviting, and they support you even if you are bad at art.” However, in Mrs. Preeshl’s classroom, no one is bad at art. The environment that Mrs. Preeshl has created in her art room stretches far beyond the “good teacher” level. Mrs. Preeshl cares about the artists and why they are creating the work that they are. She cares about the composition along with the story behind the art work. She supports and appreciates all art, no matter if you’re in Art 1 or you’ve graduated all the way to an independent study.

Because of this, the art submitted to competitions and in our school art show are recognized district wide, and in some cases, state wide. One of the more recent recognized artists was Natalia Valentine, a former Kadet in the 2016 class, who won the Earth Day District 20 competition. Her poster was hung in every District 20 school for the remainder of the year! She achieved this with the loving support of the art program at Air Academy High School.

Not only do those who participate in art classes love the program, but also those viewing the art also appreciate all of the effort put forth by the artists in our school. “I really love seeing the murals and the cool art in the displays everyday!” says Air Academy sophomore, Peter Steigerwald.

The Air Academy Art program has really started a creative and beautiful environment in our halls, and everyone in the school is incredibly inspired and thankful.