Learn about Klein ISD director of fine arts Monte Mast

The 2018-19 school year marks Monte Mast’s 12th year as Klein ISD’s director of fine arts.

What are your responsibilities and duties as fine arts director?
Fine arts are a critical part of student success. We know that students who participate in arts often improve their achievement in other areas of learning and life. The fine arts team collaborates with campuses to ensure our students are exploring their creativity and innovating in their chosen fine arts paths. Our job is to make sure that campuses have the resources they need so that our students can exit our system college or career ready with a purpose for their future. Klein ISD offers instruction in the disciplines of visual art, theatre arts, dance and music.

What new initiatives or programs have been introduced to the department?
In the past 10 years, we have increasingly integrated technology into our fine arts courses. For example, band directors used to print coordinate sheets to show students in marching band where to go on the field. Now campuses are experimenting with smartphone and tablet apps that can instantly send each student their coordinates, saving time and paper. Klein ISD is also committed to ensuring that every student has access to fine arts in every grade level. In the past 12 years, we have hired an elementary art teacher for every campus. The commitment Klein has made to our students is an awesome testament to the importance our community places on the arts.

How does KlSD’s fine arts program stand out?
The scope of the arts are so vast. We are making sure our programs evolve and stay on the forefront of providing our students an experience that allows them to continue being involved in the arts after they leave us. Whether it is simply as a consumer of the arts or as someone who makes it their profession, we want our students to have cultivated a lifelong love of the arts. Klein ISD has a national reputation as being one of the best public school districts for cultivating artistic talents. Our graduates are graphic designers, fine arts teachers, symphony musicians, professional dancers, video game designers, composers, faculty at Berklee College of Music and The Juilliard School, leads in Broadway productions and Grammy Awards recipients. Once someone wins an Oscar, we’ll have the grand slam.
By Eva Vigh
Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.