Randall loves the arts
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
Gaile Reese Randall has been the art teacher at Thompson Intermediate School for more than 15 years. Of course, she is well known and loved not just because of her talent and love for showing the broad fields of art but for her beaming smile, bubbly demeanor and positive outlook.
Raised in Calera and Hueytown, Randall is mother to Jackson, a youth minister in Los Angeles and Lauren, an Army specialist stationed in Germany. Randall said being with family and friends, traveling, volunteering and playing tennis make her happy.
Randall is an 11-year volunteer with AIM (Aiding Inmate Moms) at Tutwiler Prison. One Saturday per month children of women prisoners get a chance to bond with the volunteers and mothers and each other through activities provided by AIM. Randall says in the 11 years she has been involved she has seen children grow from infants and toddlers to teens. One of the first students she mentored will graduate high school this year.
Recently Randall and her teacher friend, Lauren Fowler of Mountain Brook, were part of a fellowship (Funds for Teachers) to go study art and the work of three artists (Gaudi, Dali and Picasso) in Barcelona, Spain. The trip lasted 15 days. The Familia Sagrada Cathedral was absolutely unbelievable according to Randall.
At her first teaching job (pre-school at Hueytown Community School) Randall first saw the important connection that art played in the development of young students. Through art they not only spoke the same language but boosted their self-esteem along with developing independence and fostering collaboration.
“Art is often overlooked in its value to students,” said Randall. “The arts (music, art and dance) help its students develop higher order thinking skills while enhancing test scores and improving attitude and social skills. I am so fortunate to be in the Alabaster City School System because they resoundingly support the arts in their schools.”
Randalls personal goals upon retirement are to live in the mountains, travel often and get back to her own art production.