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Mrs. Klauk Inside a Cave?

Jane Ball Guidance Counselor Lesley Klauk is the epitome of creativity, so it comes as no surprise that she is the recipient of a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship grant.  The Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program (TCFP) seeks out, up to 100 educators across the state each year.  The program strives to support lifelong learning among educators by enabling them to pursue dreams and passions, explore new areas of interest, expand existing talents and develop new ones.

Leslie Klauk

Guidance Counselor, Lesley Klauk 

What did Mrs. Klauk choose as her personally renewing, creative adventure?  “To make it a really purposeful endeavor, and not just a vacation, I wanted to do a volunteer assignment,” said Mrs. Klauk.  “I chose two things that I thought would give me a really good experience.”  She will spend three weeks in Italy learning how to restore art using regional restoration techniques that have been in place for hundreds of years.  “I will be using materials native to the area and will actually be doing restoration work on frescos inside of caves, as well as working on paintings and drawings inside of churches and perhaps small museums,” she explained with a huge smile that radiates her natural enthusiasm.

When Mrs. Klauk returns from the Puglia region of southern Italy, she’ll spend a week in Indiana, but won’t lose her international flair as she becomes a ‘WWOOF’ farmer.  WWOOF (Worldwide workers on organic farms) is an international movement that links volunteers with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences and build upon the idea of a sustainable, global community.

“I will be working and living on a farm,” says Mrs. Klauk with a chuckle.  Originally, her plan was to participate in a ‘Shepherding and Culinary’ experience in Italy that would have had her working with sheep, as well as learning how to harvest olives and make olive oil.  Scheduling conflicts brought her closer to home where she will be living and working on a tiny farm in Churubusco, in northeastern Indiana, helping a WWOOF farmer pick and can vegetables.   “I’ll be completely at her mercy and will do whatever she needs me to do,” said Mrs. Klauk.  

Leslie Klauk with five students

Mrs. Klauk and students (l to r):  Liam Johnson, Gavin Miller, Taylor Meier, Emma Hoskin and Avrey Callahan are all excited about her upcoming adventures!

Mrs. Klauk intends to come back, not only renewed, refreshed and with new skills, but with a renewed interest in starting a service club for Jane Ball students.  “I want the club to be student led, but my hope is that we can work with senior citizens and truly establish relationships.  I would also like to do a 'day of service' on the Martin Luther King holiday,” said Mrs. Klauk who believes that working side by side with total strangers from different cultures will help her better express to her students messages of tolerance and understanding.  “We’ve already planted seeds of service with our students through our kindness initiatives, but after this experience I can be more mindful and intentional in making those seeds grow,” Mrs. Klauk explained with the warmth students at Jane Ball have come to know and appreciate.   

“This adventure is going to be a personal stretch for me.  It’s going to take me way outside my comfort zone.  I’ve never traveled internationally and both experiences will be totally different for me and both experiences are totally different from each other,” acknowledged Mrs. Klauk.  It is in those differences and that stretch that Mrs. Klauk knows she will find something useful to share with her students at Jane Ball.

Buon viaggio Mrs. Klauk…we can wait to hear about your adventure next fall!