Monaghen begins first year at NHS


Elly Green, Print Production Manager

Along with the 11 new teachers at the high school this school year, Sean Monaghen started his first year teaching ceramics and art at NHS. In charge of the ceramics classes, Monaghen is far into his teaching journey with many years of experience under his belt. 

Monaghen’s first interest in ceramics started in 1989, when he took his first pottery class. After graduating college, Monaghen taught at Wichita Heights High School for 11 years, then moving on to Walton Elementary School and St. Mary’s Catholic School for five years.

“This is my 19th year of teaching, I have taught 14 years of high school,” Monaghen said.

Monaghen found out about the art teacher opening through district emails, after previous art teacher Patrice Olias retired following the 2020-2021 school year. Monaghen’s teaching plan for the year includes all things pottery. 

“If it has to do with clay, they’re using it,” Monaghen said.

Although Monaghen enjoys teaching ceramics, he says that realistically, he will teach whatever art class students sign up for. If students enroll in only art basics next year, he will teach art basics, and if students enroll in ceramics next year, like they did this year, he will teach ceramics again. Monaghen’s art inspirations come from his high school ceramics teacher, Mr. Brantman, his college professor, Mrs. Inge Bach from Baker University and a local ceramics shop owner.

“I take inspiration from a man named Bill Bracker, out of Lawrence, who owned a ceramics store in Lawrence until he passed away,” Monaghen said. “Now, his family owns the shop.”

Monaghen hopes to continue teaching ceramics in future years and enjoys several things about the art form. 

“I like the fact that you can make things yourself and use them,” Monaghen said. “If you mess up you just add water and start over.”