Katey Crean: The most valuable things that I think that I learned while I was here would have to be work ethic. I think that's really important, and all the teachers here are very helpful in teaching you how you're supposed to be acting in a work environment, and they really teach you how to carry yourself. Another big lesson that we learned in all of our classes is to be efficient and effective, and I think that's huge because that's whether you're in the classroom, or at work. We used those methods a lot.
Katey: Some of my favorite classes were the social media classes. I think the classes were really relevant to present day. They teach us a lot about what's going on, and how to utilize it so that you're using it properly. And I use that a lot with my current job in learning how to direct traffic to the right places. I also think that the management marketing classes were very, very helpful, and they were the most rewarding, I think. I use everything that we learned in those classes, almost every day. So they were very important classes that we took.
Katey: The right person for the BAMM program at South Hills would be someone who's really enthusiastic, and you don't necessarily have to be outgoing to be a part of the BAMM program. We've had a lot of quiet students in our classes; but, I think the BAMM program actually brings out that outgoing person in you. So, even if you aren't outgoing, you will be at the end of the program. I think that the right person is strong-willed and really wants to do well. We're all hard workers, and we all push each other to do better.
Katey: One would be worthwhile. The education here is worthwhile. The career that you get afterward is worthwhile. Just based on everything you've learned from here. I would say that South Hills is very committed. It's like a family here. They're there for you, and you can tell that they build lifelong relationships with their students. I'd also say that South Hills is limitless. They provide lots of opportunities before, during, and after your time here.
Katey: What you learn from the instructors here, is that they have been through it, and they are teaching from experience. They're not just teaching you from a book, or what they think we should know. They are teaching us what they know we should know, and because they can tell us, "This is going to benefit you." And they can prove to us that it's going to benefit us, because they've been through it, and they're up to date with what's going on in the world. All of the classes that we've taken, they have linked that to the real world, so we know that everything that we're getting is going to benefit us, and is happening right here and now.
Katey: To someone not sure about taking a two-year program, I would say that it is definitely worth it. You don't waste your time learning about things that you might not need in the real world. Everything that you are learning and everything that you're absorbing is going to benefit you in the real world. I think that, personally, I would have wasted my time going to a four-year school. I think that the two-year program is just the right amount of time for starting out and wanting to just get everything under your belt that you need to create a small business. And then there's always time, later, to go back to school.
Katey: I would say that the best piece of advice that I can give an incoming student or a current student is to come to class. I would say that we had an 80/20 rule. 80% of the stuff that we learned was in the classroom, coming right out of the instructors’ mouth, whereas 20% of it was the stuff you did at home, your homework, reading from the book. Everything that we learned in the classroom, hands-on, one on one with the teachers, working in groups, that is the most valuable information that I took away from this entire experience. Come to class.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.