How creativity and those who teach it can change the world

John Adams, our second president, placed creativity at the forefront of human achievement. He wrote to his wife that “he should study politics and war, so that his sons could study mathematics and philosophy, so that their children could study painting, poetry and music”. Art, of course, has been with us forever, and people as diverse as Plato, Confucius, Napoleon, and Einstein considered music to be the soul of the universe.

Sylvia Cauter, director of the North Kitsap High School Choir, wrestled with this soul of the universe for 28 years. With the magic of music, she has enriched the lives of thousands of students and Kitsap communities. Some students I had in my classes reluctantly accepted the school solely because of its arts, pottery, and music programs.

James Behrend

When I was hired in 1997 as a history teacher, Sylvia was already a legend. Students lined up to join his program. I still remember the enthusiastic reception of Ferguson and Cauter’s “Sound of Music” and “West Side Story” productions by NKHS students. And I remember the great background decorations for musicals created by the students of the school’s art department. What a place to teach! It will not be the same without Mrs. Cauter, who is retiring.

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