Director's Background

Up Close and Personal with Cheryl Brown

 Why the equine/arts and more day camp?

"Back in the Saddle:"  After a sabbatical from teaching art (to raise my family), I am anxious to have the opportunity to inspire students once again.

Day Camp: I have the unique opportunity of having a property where we have indoor space for creating and outdoor facilities (pool, horses, grass volleyball court) for fun, fun, fun.

So why not combine it all for an unforgettable experience?

Great Format:  Multiple days of successive instruction will enhance growth in both horsemanship and visual arts production abilities.  As a teacher, it is wonderful to be able to present concepts progressively.  Unfortunately, in most school settings, art is taught once a week or less.  This makes it much more difficult for students to remember and build on lessons learned.  

Art Education: In addition to a Bachelor's Degree in Art History, I have a Master's Degree in Art Education.  Since graduation I have created various ways to improve art education in our community.

Through the Stanislaus Arts Council I had the opportunity to teach in most of the elementary schools throughout the valley.

I also especially enjoyed creating and teaching a parent/preschooler art class for MJC's continuing education.  The class was so successful that it was continued by others after me.

I've also had the opportunity to teach other teachers through the Stanislaus County Office of Education, at California State University, Stanislaus, and through continuing education at the University of the Pacific.

I was also asked to review and comment on new middle school art textbooks that were produced by McGraw-Hill.

And I have enjoyed teaching my colleagues, twice, as a presenter at the National Art Education Convention.

I have also volunteered many hours in my children's school classrooms, with the National PTA Reflections art contest, and with after school art clubs.

Horsemanship: As a youth I was a member of Hacienda Hi-Riders horse drill team and we won first place at the Sacramento State Fair.  I later helped in the 4-H club as a Jr. Horsemanship Leader.  

My first year of college I majored in Animal Science at Cal Poly, Pomona.  I took every horse course they offered, including English riding, training,  horsemanship, and beginning and advanced farrier science (the scars are still evident on my hands). At the same time, I also took private jumping lessons.

Later, I was assistant horse wrangler (as well as being arts and crafts director) for a summer at a YMCA camp.

For the last few years my family has had the opportunity to have our own horses at home.  I have enjoyed introducing beginners to the joys of proper horsemanship. The teenage daughter of one friend commented to her father that she had learned more from me in one visit than in multiple family experiences of the past.

I updated my horsemanship skills and learned a lot at a clinic 2 years ago by one of the "horse whisperer" trainers.  And in May I had the opportunity to attend another horsemanship clinic by the well known Julie Goodnight (



D. Bryan, Elementary Teacher, 5/18/07

While visiting at a recent district activity, Mrs. Bryan commented, "I'm still using what I learned from you."  The reference is to art lessons I taught to the students in her classroom years earlier.

From  S.T.A.R.S. evaluations:

"Exposure to new art ideas, artists, media, and art appreciation.  Creative expression.  Cheryl was outstanding!"  G. Stream, Chrysler Elementary

"This was great! We need more. School should go longer in the day to make time for academics & art."   Teacher, Las Palmas Elementary

"Cheryl has a wonderful rapport with the students and much learning at a high interest was made.  Would love to have her back."  M. Love, Lakewood Elementary 

"Excellent job.  My students really loved it!"  D. Weltner, Chrysler