ROCHELLE — Rochelle Township Excessive College veteran John Dobbs has been counting down the times left on this college 12 months, however not as a result of he can’t wait to retire. As he has all through his 24 years right here, Dobbs has a brand new iron within the hearth, an concept he’s enthusiastic about bringing to fruition.
A graduate of the College of Iowa the place he was a member of the observe workforce, Dobbs taught in Davenport for a few decade in addition to highschool artwork at a small parochial college earlier than relocating to Rochelle.
He interviewed for the artwork place only one week after RTHS misplaced longtime artwork trainer Dr. Al Reynolds unexpectedly.
“At the moment, there have been 95 college students enrolled in artwork, making me the lone artwork trainer,” Dobbs mentioned. “We provided artwork 1 via artwork 4. On the finish of my first 12 months, Principal Todd Prusator got here to share some unhealthy information and a few excellent news.”
The excellent news: enrollment within the artwork program soared from 95 to 160. The unhealthy information: an extra artwork trainer will likely be employed by the district.
“Beth Mock joined me the subsequent 12 months,” Dobbs mentioned. “She needed to show pictures. I needed to increase ceramics, in order we deliberate for the Flagg Highway campus, Superintendent Doug Creason was very supportive of the humanities, permitting us three lecture rooms to accommodate the entire elective artwork programs Beth and I deliberate to create.”
In actual fact, Dobbs’ thesis for his grasp’s diploma was primarily a rewrite of the RTHS Artwork curriculum.
“We needed to increase; to develop the children’ expertise in quite a lot of areas,” Dobbs mentioned.
To ignite younger college students’ ardour for creativity, Dobbs and Mock provided after college artwork through the fall & winter months for elementary youngsters enrolled in our feeder districts. Highschool college students assisted, an sudden bonus for each.
“After we moved out right here to Flagg Highway, artwork after college morphed into the favored summer season artwork camp,” Dobbs mentioned.
Ceramics college students have been uncovered to all kinds of strategies, typically throwing pottery with their ft in addition to their palms. Ever standard was Raku, a Japanese model of pottery first made within the 1580s. Raku is characterised by a really earthy, natural impact. Created for the tea ceremony, Raku ware is mostly within the type of tea bowls.
When snow piled up and it was too chilly for Raku, Dobbs referred to as in native sculptor Fran Volz who taught the lessons about snow sculpting.
“I keep in mind that first 12 months we competed on the Rockford Park District Snow Sculpting Competitors,” Dobbs mentioned. “Ben Spriggs (now a tattoo artist) was on that workforce. We had tons of snow, however the climate warmed up the week of the competitors, so we needed to stand up there nicely earlier than daybreak to sculpt earlier than it obtained too heat, then insulate the snow blocks to maintain them from melting after which return as much as work after darkish after the temps had dropped.”
Dobbs additionally has a definite expertise for reconnecting individuals with objects. For a couple of years now he has been shopping for storage unit contents and metallic detecting.
“It’s superb what you could find and what persons are keen to pay for issues,” Dobbs mentioned. “However what I actually get pleasure from is reconnecting individuals with misplaced objects like a hoop I misplaced and a hoop I discovered for somebody.”
After an amazing effort by Dobbs and daughter, Michelle, to reconnect a WWII Purple Coronary heart he present in a sack of socks with the household of the veteran whose ship was torpedoed by the Japanese, it went to a collector.
Dobbs has his sights set on breaking floor for Hub Metropolis Self Storage, a facility he’s constructing on Illinois Route 251 within the southern sector of town.
At an finish of the 12 months meeting, our college band, the Eraserheads, carried out the Neil Younger traditional, ‘Lengthy Might You Run’ as a tribute to Dobbs who for many years has additionally been our cross nation and observe coach.
His recollections and successes from the observe are an entire different story, however apart from older daughter Michelle’s success as a collegiate observe all-american, one other factor Dobbs could be very proud to level out is the trio of former college students he has been capable of coach alongside: Eric Chalus, Zack Miller, and Dale Bergeson have labored to proceed to develop the observe program.