Features

Mr. Bienek’s contributions go far beyond the classroom

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One of Mr. Bryan Bienek’s most important contributions to the St. Joe community has been the Youth Vision Fast, which he leads, along with Mr. Mike O’Donnell. Seniors have the opportunity to take part in it for their Senior Project, although some students end up going on a longer Vision Fast even after graduating. (Photo Credit: Sourcing The Fire, https://www.sourcingthefire.org/)

Mr. Bryan Bienek has been an art teacher at Mount Saint Joseph High School for fourteen years and Chair of the Art Department for ten years. Over this time, he’s had a significant effect on the department itself and the students that take his classes. In our interview, he said, “I added a class, the photo class… and eventually, we added another teacher, a third full-time teacher, which I don’t think (the art department) has had before.”

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Mr. Bryan Bienek from https://www.msjnet.edu/page.cfm?p=893&viewdirid=14&&directoryStart=11

Something else Mr. Bienek has brought to the students of MSJ is the opportunity for a Vision Fast, which is an experience that allows students to discover things about themselves and about life itself, by thinking from a new perspective achieved by fasting. “I went out to Colorado and did a fast for myself, and I didn’t think it was gonna be that powerful of an experience for me, but it was, and I was able to learn how it was done, in a group like that, to come back and lead it for the seniors.

Getting more personal with the interview, I started asking him about his art, and his personality, as well as life outside of school. “My art is a reflection of what’s going on with me… I use it as a sort of meditation, and it has a prayerful aspect.” As far as personal life, outside of the school, I asked him if there were any more things he wanted the students of Mount Saint Joe to know about him. “A lot of kids just don’t know that I have two kids, I have a ten-year-old and a five-year-old, I’ve been married for eleven years.” However, the ending point he made, that he wanted students to know was that he likes “when kids say ‘Hi’. Not (necessarily) to me… but just like when I see people interact with each other on campus…I think that’s pretty cool.”

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Joey Johnson, Senior

Joey Johnson is a senior and a member of the Multimedia Journalism class.