From the desk of Glenn Ballard, Director of Fine Arts:  I am a believer. No one has to convince me. I know from personal experience and my own observations the extraordinary value of a rich fine arts education. I studied drama in Middle School and High School back in the 1970s, and even dabbled in it as a college student. But forty years ago I never dreamed that I might actually grow up to be a fine arts educator and to be the Director of the Fine Arts programs of a premiere private school. So today I am thrilled to share a few thoughts about how the Fine Arts programs of The Brook Hill School are changing lives.We know, as Fran Smith wrote several years ago in Edutopia, “Arts education has been slipping for more than three decades, the result of tight budgets, an ever-growing list of state mandates that have crammed the classroom curriculum, and a public sense that the arts are lovely but not essential.”I believe that education in the arts is one of the most significant things we can do for our children. From the days of Plato, educators have recognized the importance of the arts in the educational process. It is true now more than ever before that training in music, dance, theatre, and visual arts is an integral part of what defines our young people culturally and socially. I agree with Bob Bryant who said, “The arts are a part of the cultural heritage of every American. The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people.”No student ever masters the arts through occasional or random exposure. We certainly do not expect our children to learn math or science that way. That is why we are committed to making all the fine arts an essential part of The Brook Hill School curriculum and an important component in the educational program of every student. This commitment drives much of what I do as the Director of Fine Arts.Everyone knows that Brook Hill prepares our students for the academic rigors of college. But I believe that our fine arts classes also prepare them to be more cultured and humane people. It is well established that a first-class fine arts education provides learners with a number of “non-academic” benefits, including higher self-esteem, greater motivation, aesthetic awareness, enhanced creativity, improved emotional expression, better problem solving skills, as well as a keener sense of team work. As a parent and now a grandparent, I want my grandchildren to have the opportunity to learn about the things that really matter the most: things like truth and integrity, critical thinking skills, a sense of wonder, fairness, creativity and cooperation. The arts provide all of these.For years the debate has raged…Do the arts make people awesome? Or are awesome people simply attracted to the arts? Either way, come be awesome with us!

Now meet our Instructors…..

Drama

Glenn Ballard teaches both speech and drama classes and directs the theatre productions. He coordinates the school’s involvement in the TAPPS district arts and academic meet and has served as TAPPS District President and Meet Director.  Since he began the theatre program in 1998, Mr. Ballard has directed Brook Hill students in annual dinner theatre productions, full-length musicals, and award-winning one act plays.

Mr. Ballard came to Brook Hill because he saw an opportunity to build a Christian theatre program from the ground up. Here he has created an environment in which gifted middle school students can learn and perform alongside more experienced upper school actors.

Mr. Ballard received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1998 and his Master’s degree in Theatre and Speech Communication in 2005. Since 1981 he has been an evangelist and has worked with churches in Houston, Northern California, and East Texas. He has preached in twenty of the fifty United States and in several states in Mexico. He has also made mission trips to China and the Philippine islands of Mindanao, Leyte and Cebu He and his wife Rebecca have three sons Bradley, Aubrey (Salutatorian ‘03), and Timothy (‘05).

Among his most memorable theatrical experiences were seeing Yul Brynner in the King and I in Houston, Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone in Evita, Tommy Tune in Bye Bye Birdie, and the Broadway productions of Phantom of the Opera (three times), Aida, Cats, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, The Lion King, and Wicked. Mr. Ballard enjoys traveling when he has time, garage sale-ing, and working on upcoming productions.

Choral

Patti Eden has been at Brook Hill since 1998 as the middle and upper school choir director. During these years, she has also taught History / English (grades 5,6,7,8,10), Latin, Theater Arts, and coached middle school volleyball for three years.

Before coming to Brook Hill she taught English and choir in Jacksonville Middle School and Rusk. Prior to teaching Patti received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. She was also awarded a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from The University of Texas at Tyler, where her primary field was music.

Except for her college years she has always lived in Jacksonville where she now lives with her husband Tim, who is an assistant principal at Jacksonville High School, as well as her three daughters who all attend Brook Hill.

The Edens are active members of Fellowship Bible Church where Tim is an elder, and he and Patti play for the worship team. Mrs. Eden is active in community theatre and performs with various groups in the East Texas area.

Visual Arts

Anna Jones has a passion for visual arts. She enjoys creating her own artwork, viewing other artists’ work, and teaching art to young people.  Not only does she take pleasure in sharing her knowledge about art history and the process of making art, she wants her students to experience art and understand how much it affects their lives. The arts are not only a wonderful way to portray personal expression, but more importantly, an avenue to glorify God. She feels so blessed to be able to instill in students a passion for art and teach them its importance in their growth and development.

Before coming to Brook Hill, she enjoyed using her artistic abilities as a social media and marketing coordinator. Prior to that, she provided childcare for a family, while building her lifestyle, family, and event photography business. Anna received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Arts from Dallas Baptist University. She is pursuing her teaching credentials through Texas Teachers of Tomorrow.

In her free time, she likes baking, reading, gardening, and spending time with her husband, Wade. She also loves working on one of her many on-going art projects commissioned by friends and family, which include watercolor, calligraphy, and photography.

Drumline

It has been Mr. Rhoads’ pleasure to serve at Brook Hill for several years.  He has worked with young people for the entirety of his professional career.  He served in Vienna, Austria as a teacher and administrator and here at Brook Hill as a teacher, Director of Campus life, and Principal.  He is now heading up the Residential Life program and working with boarding students from all over the world.

Mr. Rhoads’ degrees include a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies from Crichton College and a Master’s in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He and his wife, Kelly, have two children.

Dance

Savannah Holik is the Dance Instructor at The Brook Hill School,  Savannah is the Ballet Mistress at For the Love of Dance.  For 12 years she has trained dancers of all ages and levels in ballet, tap, lyrical, and jazz through various studios.    For 12 years, she has managed the creative vision of the groups.

Mrs. Holik received a BS from Sam Houston State University.  Her dance training began at a young age and over the past years she has studied from notable choreographers.  She danced in New York while achieving the honor as a Principal.  Additionally, her choreography has won accolades throughout the State.

Above all Savannah believes that dance is part of the soul and can be life changing.