Some people are born with a passion for art, but in Ross Wheeler’s case, his passion and talent had to be discovered. During his senior year of high school, he took an art class, where he realized that he wanted his entire life to be filled with art and the joy he feels within that environment. Today, Ross is an art teacher at Piketon High School where he began working directly after college. He has been working there for 10 years now, acting as a friendly influence for students to pursue their passions. Ross was taught how to be an artist, how to be a teacher, and how to be a great role model through professors at Shawnee State University.  

“It’s more than just grade points and completing your assignments. You need to do your best on those, sure, but it’s not all about having a 4.0. Try to live a little in college. Try to focus on the elements surrounding what they’re trying to teach you here. It’s one thing to be taught all of the information, memorize it, then take a test on it. It’s another thing to figure out ways to apply it in your future career.” 

Ross did graduate almost 10 years ago, but he still vividly remembers his experience as a college student. His advice is to focus, take things day by day, and don’t let the syllabi taunt you. Working both in the art and education programs was a challenge for him, but the professors and encouraging environment helped him to succeed. He feels that he has been truly prepared by Shawnee State University to be the most successful high school art teacher he could ever be.