CARLISLE — When Demi Hauseman took her first art class in high school, it opened up a whole new world for her.
From her sophomore year on, Hauseman knew that she wanted to be an art teacher.
“Because I went to a parochial school, we didn’t have art until 10th grade,” she said. “I finally got to have art class when I went to high school, and I got to interview and submit a portfolio to see if I got into their art program. I got into the art program and I loved it, and I went to school for art and that was my career from then on.”
After she graduated from college, Hauseman taught art at schools around the state for a few years before landing in the Midstate. After teaching art at the high school and elementary school levels for 24 years in the Carlisle Area School District, Hauseman retired in June.
During her career she taught at LeTort, Hamilton and Moorland elementary schools in Carlisle — but not before going out on a positive note.
This year, she was named the Pennsylvania Art Educators Association’s outstanding elementary art educator. Hauseman knew she had been nominated for the award, because she had to submit a career summary to the organization, but she said she never told anyone about the nomination.
“I was nominated by my department chairperson,” Hauseman said. “It was a surprise, I didn’t tell anyone I was nominated. I thought, ‘Well, I have no idea why anybody would nominate me.’ It’s a very hard job and I work hard doing it and I was very proud of what I did, but I think that all the teachers that I know that do this job work really, really hard.”
While she spent most of her career in teaching at the high school level, the last 10 years were spent at the elementary school level. She said the difference between teaching the younger children was that they’re so much less inhibited in their art and have a lot of excitement for the subject.
“I love teaching younger kids art, they’re just very enthusiastic. To them it’s such a special subject,” Hauseman said. “I love teaching high school kids, too, and they’re wonderful experiences, but I just thought it would be so much fun teaching younger kids. Older children tend to become a little fearful about being artists and they get a little bit more timid, but younger kids don’t always have those issues to deal with.”
Since last year was her final year teaching art full time, Hauseman said she is still adjusting to life as a retired person, but she is taking all sorts of trips with her husband, who is also retired.
When they are done taking road trips around the country, Hauseman said she plans to come back to Carlisle and stay involved with both the school district and the art scene in Carlisle. She has worked with Carlisle Arts Learning Center for shows previously, including a show she did of her own work.
Hauseman auctioned off some of the pieces she would use for examples in her classroom and used the money for a scholarship that was awarded to a Carlisle High School senior.
“I’m definitely involved in Carlisle as an artist and will continue to do that,” Hauseman said. “I had a lot of art teaching resource materials and examples from the years I taught, and I had a little auction during the time my show was going on. I was able to raise $1,071 to have a scholarship from the Carlisle Arts Learning Center for a Carlisle High School senior. So that was pretty cool that I was able to use my art resources from my teaching career to help a student.”