SIDNEY — Watching students take ideas and create them with paint and clay was something Sidney Art Teacher Sylvia Chirakos-Dorsey enjoyed most about her career.
Chirakos-Dorsey began her teaching career in Sidney in 1979. She taught art for 35 years in Sidney City Schools in every building in the system grades K-12. She retired at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
She has more than 36 years in art education, starting out in Indiana. Chirakos-Dorsey graduated from Bowling Green State University with an education degree in the visual arts and she received her Masters from University of Dayton.
She has two sons who graduated from SHS; Christopher, his wife Lisa, and her grandson, Andrew, live in Auburn, Alabama. David lives in Los Angeles, California and is finishing his masters degree in film.
Since the start of her career she has seen many changes in education. One of the biggest she points out is the drive to test.
“We have forgotten about educating the whole child. That kids learn differently, and that the arts help kids think out side the box,” Chirakos-Dorsey said.
She thinks back fondly on all the art shows that highlighted her students’ work over the years. “I have had many wonderful years and so many creative students in Sidney,” she said. “I have had many memorable students and have even been able to teach with some of them.”
Her career highlights included being 2006 Teacher of the Year, Muse Machine Outstanding Adviser 2007, and receiving the Career Achievement award from Sidney Teachers Association in 2015.
She said some funny and memorable incidents were little kids taste testing art supplies, making a giant “C” by sprinkling dry tempera paint in the snow on Julie Lamb Fields with the Central kids, yearly art shows at Bridgeview and district art shows with the Sidney City Art Department.
Her plans for retirement include catching up on the summer to do list, read all the books she hasn’t gotten to yet, do some art and visit her family.