the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Art Teacher Mrs. Thornton brings the good vibes

One of Saint Stephen’s new teachers is a fan favorite, come find out what makes her class so much fun down below!
Derek Aroyan
Art teacher Mrs. Thornton with her husband and two sons. Photo from Mrs. Thornton

Saint Stephen’s faculty and staff often exceed expectations, and that principle applies to art teacher Mrs. Olivia Thornton. Mrs. Thornton has been at Saint Stephen’s now for two years and is enjoying every day more than the last. According to many of her students, Mrs. Thornton is sure to make your day brighter when she enters the room with her warm smile and cheery attitude.   

As a student,Thornton studied at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, where she got her Bachelor’s Degree in Art.  After that, she went on to obtain her Master’s in Education. Mrs. Thornton then found Saint Stephen’s through a mutual friend at her last job with Rowlett Middle Academy. 

As a teacher, what sets Mrs. Thornton apart from other teachers is the vibe she brings into the classroom; she draws people to her. Her classroom has a homey feel to it that encourages kids to come in and create art. 

“I strive for our art classroom to feel like the best type of home,” Thornton said, “where you know you are loved and safe and accepted just the way you are but are also encouraged to grow into the person who you are to become.”

Students seem to really enjoy being in Thornton’s classes.  Freshman Cameron LeMay, who is in sixth-period Art 1, described the experience so far: 

“The classroom is fun every day… It’s a very calm working environment.”

Thornton’s classroom vibe produces better work, and it plays a big role in inspiring her own art. 

Mrs.Thornton’s passion for art started when she was in elementary school, and her family’s support paved the path to where she is today. 

“I would consider myself to be an artist since elementary school,” Thornton said. “My mama always supported my interest in art growing up and still champions it to this day. I hope to do the same with my sons.”

Thornton’s piece “The Man in the Moon,” an abstract rendition of Prince.

Her creative mind is on display every day in the classroom, where she helps students  brainstorm ideas for their art. 

Isabella Casadevalls, the one and only senior AP art student, had more to say about the way Thornton supports students.

“She is definitely a more kind person, she challenges me to continue working on a piece even when we both think it’s done.”

Mrs. Thornton’s artistic skill is seen in her art in and outside of the classroom. Her favorite piece that she’s ever created is a portrait of the singer Prince. The piece represents the artist with simplicity of color simplicity of color, but in the end, it’s complex, abstract portrait.

“My current favorite piece of art that I created a few years ago is called ‘Man in the Moon,” Thornton said.  “It’s a piece with the singer/musician/actor/performer Prince as the main subject matter. I love the minimalist nature, the simplicity, of this piece in comparison to the seemingly maximalist character who Prince seemed to be to the public eye.”

The piece, a minimalist rendition of a colorful individual, seems to connect to Mrs. Thornton as a person— she’s very humble and down to earth, but one can tell immediately that there is a lot of color and complexity behind the scenes. 

If you have the opportunity to take Mrs. Thornton’s class, jump at it. You will have a teacher who will inspire, help, and cultivate a love for art. 

View Comments (1)
About the Contributor
Derek Aroyan
Derek Aroyan, Staff Writer
Derek Aroyan is a Junior and a first year member of the Gauntlet. His favorite hobby is playing Hockey and he is a staff writer on the Gauntlet. His favorite movie is 22 Jump Street. He has 1 cat who he loves to spend time with. Aroyan's favorite color is satin grey and he likes the color more on cars than anything else.


Comments (1)

Comments are expected to be respectful and constructive. We do not permit the use of profanity, crude language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Commenters must provide their name; no anonymous comments will be accepted.
All the Gauntlet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Olivia ThorntonFeb 14, 2024 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you so much, Derek!! It is such a pleasure being your teacher! 💜