Our name says it all. Here at the Philadelphia Charter School for Arts and Sciences, both the arts and sciences are central to our school's mission and identity. Walk down our hallways and you will see walls lined with student art work and photographs of past student performances. Pass by the ballet studio and you will hear classical music playing, or stop by the theatre early in the morning to hear drums as the percussion majors meet for their morning rehearsal. Knock on the door of the French classroom to be greeted by a chorus of "Bonjours!" or the Science Lab for an update on the latest round of science experiments. At Arts and Sciences, our arts-infused curriculum is woven into every school day, and is at the heart of our school model.
Mr. Thomas Kolakowski is a Philadelphia based music educator currently in his third year at Arts and Sciences. Through his teaching, Mr. Kolakowski enjoys helping students develop strong musical fundamentals as well as helping shape students into confident and joyful performers.
Mr. Kolakowski received his Master's Degree in Percussion from the University of Southern California and an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music. He has performed with ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, and Santa Barbara Symphony. Mr. Kolakowski believes that a strong music education is essential to the holistic development of a student and has the power to change lives.
Known lovingly by her students past and present as Ms. Mack, Ms. Erica McElveen has been an Arts and Sciences teacher and member of the Arts Team since the school opened 11 years ago in September of 2012. Ms. Mack plays multiple instruments, but her first love is the drum set. She currently teaches the percussion majors in addition to elementary school strings.
Ms. Mack graduated from Temple University with a degree in Music Education in 2012. Since then she has performed with many artists and organizations in Philadelphia, including Drum Like a Lady, to enrich the community and spread the joy of communal percussive experiences. Ms. Mack has recently put out her third musical project as a solo artist, and hopes to continue to spread her love of music as an educator and performer for many years to come!