Xavier High School Art Teacher Jayne Vitale has been awarded the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D. Award for Contributions to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Norwich. Miss Vitale has been teaching at Xavier for almost 40 years, and this recognition is a testament to her unwavering dedication and passion for teaching.
Her journey at Xavier began in the fall of 1986, and since then, she has been an integral part of the school's art department. Her love for teaching emanates from her love for school, and she believes that being a part of Xavier’s world-class faculty is a privilege. "I love school and I always have. That's why I enjoy being a teacher here," she says.
Miss Vitale's teaching philosophy revolves around the idea that anyone can learn to draw, and her students' success is a reflection of their abilities. She takes pride in seeing her students grow and evolve over time. "I like seeing the boys make something in art class. They start learning some drawing skills and go from there," she says.
Miss Vitale also encourages her students to be proud of their work and to see it as a reflection of themselves. "In my class, we never say that art is good or bad. We say successful or unsuccessful, and if it's unsuccessful, you start over," she adds.
It is not surprising to hear that Miss Vitale's classroom is her favorite space on campus, and it's like a second home to her. She loves coming to work every day to see the entire Xavier community. Her favorite part of being a teacher at Xavier is seeing the evolution of the students and the school itself. She takes pride in the fact that Xavier has grown into the vibrant and diverse community that it is today.
Miss Vitale has also kept a collection of some of her favorite pieces that students have worked on throughout the years, pieces of art that have been left behind for one reason or another. Some of these works date back to the 1980s, and she treasures each and every one of them. These pieces are a testament to the hard work and creativity of her students, and she takes pride in their accomplishments.
Each year, Miss Vitale hands out sketchbooks to her students, and each book starts with a blank page. She encourages her students to see the blank page as an opportunity to create something new and to express themselves. "I try to have them see down the road. I tell them in a couple of weeks, your sketchbooks are going to have a whole collection of drawings. They should be proud of that because it is a reflection of them and their abilities," she says.
Miss Vitale's impact on her students extends far beyond the walls of her classroom. She has inspired countless students to pursue their passion for art and to use their creativity to make a difference in the world. Many of her former students have gone on to achieve great success in all walks of life, and she takes pride in their accomplishments.
Miss Vitale's recognition as a recipient of the Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D. Award for Contributions to Catholic Education in the Diocese of Norwich is a testament to her unwavering dedication to teaching and her love for the Xavier community. Her story is a shining example of how art imitates life, and how through hard work and dedication, anyone can learn to create something beautiful.