Halberstadt takes a hands on approach in the Fine Arts Department

Charlie Bickel, staff writer

Last year, it was easier than ever to stay isolated. Students had ample opportunity to avoid unnecessary small talk, but for teachers, it was crippling. One teacher in particular has set out on a mission to re-establish a direct chain of communication with students as they transition back to in-person learning. 

 Cody Halberstadt, who is kicking off his first year as the Fine Arts Department Instructional Supervisor, is up for this challenge. He oversees classes and activities from the Music, Broadcasting, and Drama Departments. As a former high school band director, nothing was more challenging last year than missing out on valuable connections with students.

 “The arts are about sharing, interacting, and creating with one another,” Halberstadt said. “I love to sit down with [a] group of students, talk to them about what they’re working on, and maybe work on it myself as well.”

Mark Maranto, assistant principal for Student Activities, is on board with this hands-on method too. He previously was the Fine Arts Department Instructional Supervisor, and understands the importance of being present in the role. With his own personal experience, he has advice on how to make connections that keep students coming back for more.

“Make your presence known,” Maranto said. “Show up. It’s not just getting them to take the [Fine Arts] classes, but it’s getting them and hooking them.”

A Fine Arts Instructional Supervisor has to shoulder a large load of responsibilities on behalf of the entire department. However, no matter what Halberstadt finds himself doing on any given day, it all leads back to one key idea. 

“I really do think that at the heart of being successful in a position like this is that ability to foster positive relationships,” Halberstadt explained. “They really are a gateway to so many other things.”