Knight Spotlight: Arts Ed


A 2023-2024 Knight News series will feature Chatham Charter staff. The goal is to give readers an opportunity to learn about their professional backgrounds and favorite aspects of their jobs.

Kelly Golden, the K-5 art teacher, has been at Chatham Charter since it became a charter school. She was a substitute teacher when the school was Chatham Academy. Over the years she has served in many capacities on campus including helping with lunch in the early years of the school, computer lab, and in a variety of classes. Throughout that time Mrs. Golden has always been part of the art program, having worked with K-8 students until the high school expansion opened in 2013.

Mrs. Golden has a K-5 focus on the fifteen days of the Chinese New Year and how 2024 is the year of the dragon. Chinese culture, the history of the 12 animals in the Chinese calendar, and geographical as well is historical aspects that relate to the unit are ways she is integrating art and other subjects. The students are currently sketching the dragon and will each complete a project based on the animal of their birth year by the end of the Chinese New Year in mid-February.

Julie Teague, the K-5 music teacher, earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education at UNCG. After teaching in several Chatham County schools, she came to Chatham Charter, where she has worked for 23 years.

During a typical music lesson, she strives to find opportunities to tie in connections to reading, math, science, and geography. A highlight of the K-5 school year is the Spring Sing, during which students apply their musical skills and knowledge through performance. 

Kelly Eldridge, the middle and high school art teacher, began her teaching career in 1990. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UNC Greensboro and a Master of Education from UNC Chapel Hill. Mrs. Eldridge is also a professional artist. In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Eldridge coaches the Knights tennis teams and was the 2015 Central Tarheel Women’s Tennis Conference Coach of the Year.

“In teaching art, I really like the varied avenues students take while researching and developing a particular art project.  Some of the most memorable pieces are those at the beginning of each semester where they share inspirations, dreams, world views, challenges, and interests.  In this single project, I see the potential of where they can go with a little encouragement and instruction.”

Elizabeth Taylor, the middle and high school Instrumental Music teacher, has been teaching band for over 30 years.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Mars Hill College, and her Master’s degree from Meredith College.  She has taught in Iredell County, Rockingham County, and 27 years in Wake County before coming to Chatham Charter School. 

“My favorite performance this year has been the parades that the students have worked on since summer camp.  Most of them attended summer camp at Campbell University to learn to march, march and play together, and generally work better together as a team.  They have certainly met expectations on improving to do that very thing.  The Holiday Concert was exceptional as well.  I could see the growth from beginner level through Intermediate level to high school advanced levels.  The difficulty of music performed grew with each group, and the maturity of sound and musicality was also very evident in their performance.”

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