Mrs. Goans helps a student with shading his artwork in AP Studio Art

By Leah Skaggs, BHS Journalism Department 

 If you were to walk down the south hallway at BHS you would see art created by many different students and hear the boisterous voice of their art teacher, Mrs.Tara  Goans. 

Kansas High School students are required to take 1 full credit of fine arts to graduate. BHS has a strong history with art and some students needed more intensive art classes.

BHS decided to add a more advanced art class at the request of the former art teacher Sheryl Smith.  “She’s the one who brought up the original proposal to get students an opportunity to be able to have more opportunities in art,” said Mrs. DeWitt the 11th-12th grade school counselor. 

Not just anyone can take AP studio art. Students have to meet the criteria to be enrolled. 

Mrs. DeWitt explained, “They first need to take either Intro to Drawing or Intro to 3D Design which are our entry-level courses. Then also when they sign up for it, we let the art teachers look at the list to see if the students have completed that and been able to receive an A or B in that class.” 

AP Studio Art is offered two times a day and approximately 20-30 students take this class depending on the year. 

When asked about what AP Studio Art was,  Mrs. Goans, who happens to be Sheryl Smith’s daughter replied, “AP Studio Art is a class that requires students to work on a sustained investigation, creating a body of work. They must show their planning, practicing, and ideas in the form of sketchbook entries and written evidence.”

We asked Mrs. Goans why students might be interested in AP Studio Art she said, “AP offers an opportunity for students to work exclusively in their preferred medium while creating their own unique ideas”

Students can learn many new skills by taking AP Studio Art that prepare them for life. 

“The ability to begin and complete original work under a timeline is so important for these students. I feel that it helps prepare them for college or the workplace,” said Goans. 

Mrs. Goans said that her favorite part about this class is “Turning in the final portfolios and the sense of accomplishment the students have.  I also love “Technique Tuesday” which is where we take breaks from our work and try new things together as a class.”   

Students interested can visit with their counselor or art teachers to see if this will be the next best step for them. 

This article was written in the 21st Century Journalism class. To read more articles, follow along at