Originally from New Jersey, Kristen Partesi was looking for a lifestyle change. Partesi was seeking a school that was “community-oriented” and that is exactly what she found comforting at Castleton.
Partesi graduated from Castleton in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Art, Magna Cum Laude. In addition, she received her K-12 Art Teacher Certification. Students who enter into the Art Education Program at Castleton can attain a degree in art while also gaining the credentials to become a teacher.
Since graduating, Partesi has made Vermont her home. She is currently a full-time art teacher at nearby Fair Haven Union High School. Partesi has also worked in several art galleries and businesses over the years.
“Castleton was the perfect environment for me to grow as a person and into my own as an artist and educator,” she said.
By cultivating connections in the community, Partesi was able to paint a mural for a local community youth center, get involved with Habitat for Humanity, and work in local schools.
“All of these opportunities led to where I am today,” Partesi said.
During her time at Castleton, she was also able to paint one of the heARTs of Rutland, a community street project that celebrated the people and pride in Rutland.
“Being part of a community art project was life-changing and helped me meet a lot of area artists,” she said.
Partesi moved on to a master’s degree in Art Administration from Castleton University. She chose to continue her education at Castleton because she enjoys the flexibility of an online program and the availability of professors.
Partesi will always remember Castleton as her home away from home.
“It really did feel like a family and that was important to me,” Partesi said.