Ms. C expanding creativity in her class and beyond


This photo includes senior Megan Hall (left), junior Autumn Lidke (sitting), Ms. Alison Comoglio (center), and junior Tessia Patterson (right). Some of Ms. C's period 1A Advanced Painting class with their in progress painting on still life unit.


Ms. Comoglio is a new art teacher here at Patterson Mill High School. Many call her Ms. C, she came from Aberdeen Middle School. Ms. C taught at Aberdeen for nine years. She explains how the students there looked at her as a mother figure. They depended on her not only for art, but advice, and she provided structure and discipline. Since she was the mother figure, she knew she really could not focus on what she loved, art, but on what her students needed. Last summer, Ms. C and her family had a big decision to make about her resigning from her teaching career because it was so unhealthy for her. Ms. C says, “When I was at the sickest part of my life, I felt it was my second chance to get healthy.” Her second chance was to come here to Patterson Mill. They decided she needed a change last year because she has a degenerative disease and she physically could not get up every day and chase her middle school students around, her body would not let her do it anymore. A dear friend of hers, Rachel Steffan, one of the old fine art teachers here at Patterson Mill, was moving and she told Dr. Abel she would not want anyone else to take over the program here. Dr. Abel contacted her, interviewed her, then hired her.

When Ms. C started here at Patterson Mill, she was very nervous. She had a lot of ‘what ifs’ running through her head. “Once I started here, it was the first time I could get up and look forward to work, which was a huge step.” She also said her body used to slow down and it would sometimes take her an hour just to get out bed due to all of stress she was under. She also shared how many of her advanced students at the beginning of this year did not trust her or thought she knew what she was doing. She would tell them something and they would just disregard it. “I made it my mission to get those kids to trust me enough to teach them art.” Her Advanced Painting class only has four students and they were the first students she won over. They have grown so close, she describes their relationship like a little family. Her other students saw what her Advanced Painting class was doing and decided to give her a chance. They realized she knew what she was talking about and learned to love her. Ms. C says they still joke about how they didn’t trust her at first and how they gave her a hard time. The biggest difference between Aberdeen and Patterson Mill for her was the age group and maturity level of the students, which allowed her to focus on teaching them art and not constantly disciplining them.

There is another side of Ms. C outside of school that few know about. Six years ago, Ms. C decided she wanted to follow her dreams and open the first Fine Art Academy that was just like real school. The art students at the academy would have four series of classes. Her program started at Churchville Recreation complex, and she was there for four of her six years before being contacted by Harford Community College. They loved her program so much, they wanted her to come and work as an instructor for them. She was faced with a hard decision. After thinking it over, she decided to go to HCC because they could help her build the program and she is still serving as an instructor. Even though they will have her program, if she decides to leave to open up her own storefront, her students will follow her because she is the reason they have developed a love for art!

All of Ms. C’s students are so lucky to have her as an art teacher.