State art teachers hear presentation of Summit art teacher’s cancer project

Samantha England, an art teacher at The Summit Country Day School’s Harold C. Schott Middle School.

Samantha England, an art teacher at The Summit Country Day School’s Harold C. Schott Middle School, holds up one of her drawings she completed during her "Perseverance Project." The project chronicles her life since her diagnosis of HER2-positive breast cancer just three weeks before her wedding.

Samantha England, an art teacher at The Summit Country Day School’s Harold C. Schott Middle School, presented a perseverance project on her battle with breast cancer to art teachers statewide last month.

Mrs. England spoke at the Ohio Art Education Association meeting on Nov. 15. Since then, she has also presented to a panel at the University of Cincinnati’s department of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.
 
Mrs. England’s presentation, “My Perseverance Project: Drawing through Chemotherapy,” is a chronicle of her life since being diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer just three weeks before her wedding.
 
Within The Summit’s Character Education Program curriculum, perseverance is examined in depth in the sixth grade, and students present their own projects as a capstone experience at the end of the year.

“Last year, I decided to work alongside my sixth graders and complete my very own Perseverance Project,” Mrs. England says. “During each of my six chemotherapy sessions, I started a drawing for someone who has helped me during my fight against cancer. After each drawing was complete, I gave it to the person who inspired me as a thank you for their support.” 

One depicts a loaf of Jewish egg bread baked weekly by a friend, one is an apple dedicated to the teachers who helped her and her students make it through the year, another is a spray of blueberries dedicated to her family and another is a slice of pizza for her husband, Michael.

In the process, she discovered that her drawings not only occupied her time during long days of treatment but became of interest to others. 

Through her own experience, Samantha has shown her students what perseverance looks like. She is now helping other women through the Cancer Support Community and using her artwork as a platform for breast cancer therapy and awareness. 
 
The Summit is a co-educational, Catholic independent school serving children from 18-months through grade 12. Call 513-871-4700 ext. 261 to request more information or schedule a personal tour.