Tara Kintz

The past Idyllwild Arts Academy students featured on the Alumni Panel during the school’s October 20-22 Parents Weekend and Open House will have plenty to say about the benefits of Academy education.

Amber Pairis (Class of 1992, Visual Arts) is a prominent environmental scientist and activist, Andy Fraga (Class of 1997, Music) is a successful performer and producer, and Matt Stroud (Visual Arts) enjoys what he calls “the ultimate dream job” in development and production for Universal Studios, in Hollywood.

But only the fourth panelist, Tara Kintz, is involved in studying the kind of flexible, multidimensional education that Idyllwild Arts gives its students. The study of creative education is part of her scholarship. And, as Director of the Fellowship of Instructional Leaders for the Office of K-12 Outreach, in Michigan State University’s College of Education, she also promotes the educator’s capacity to improve teaching and learning experiences in many contexts.

She graduated from the Academy as an InterArts major in 1994. It was a very good year for girls named Tara.

“At Commencement, I walked alongside Tara Sechrest”—the Academy’s Director of Enrollment Management—“after growing up in Idyllwild as best friends with her.”

Knowing she “wanted to take the arts into education,” she went on to Mills College, in Oakland, graduating with a Liberal Arts degree. Graduate work in Education followed at California State University, East Bay, and then at Michigan State, culminating in 2015 in her Ph.D.

Tara had been a long-distance runner at Mills. Now, “though I love hiking and other outdoor activities, most of my running is after my two children.”

Her Michigan State work in K-12 outreach implies devotion also to other people’s children, and especially to getting them deeply interested in their education. A forthcoming research article, written with two colleagues, studies “teachers whom students found more engaging.”

The audience for Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Alumni Panel on October 21 is likely to find Tara Kintz extremely engaging.

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