Renewal & Community

September 26, 2023
Sarah Turner



In these first weeks of fall, NBSS  is humming with a new semester. Our Career Training (CT) and Community Education (CE) workshops buzz as students work at the bench and in the field. Groups large and small gather for demonstrations, lectures, meals, and outings. Faculty members—both returning and new—come together with a renewed group of staff to guide students as they begin or continue in their training. We’ve also just welcomed Board members back for a new season, and visitors are already joining us for events and public programs.  

People are at the heart of what we do. And so, as we step forward into a period of School growth, we set our sights and intentions on three areas of work to deepen and enrich our community: increasing student access to our full suite of programs and classes; building and investing in the strength of faculty and staff; and seeding the future success of those who work and train here.

NBSS is a dynamic meeting point where lived experiences merge, forging a remarkable collection of identities and aspirations. Our 150 CT students reflect a unique combination of craft and trade, youth and experience, novice and expert. They come from 24 states, are just out of high school or have advanced degrees, and bring with them experience as a firefighter, a librarian, a veteran, a filmmaker, a financial analyst, a bartender, a landscaper, a farmer, and more. Our CE students (239 for the fall term) have backgrounds and interests that are similarly broad, and yet like our full student body, have found a place at NBSS. So many forms of knowledge and skill gathered up, these students are starting new chapters—for themselves, for their friends and families, and for NBSS—together.

In similar ways, our faculty, staff, and teaching assistants also bring an exciting combination of experience. We have a newly configured Cabinet & Furniture Making faculty, who have taught at both distinguished craft/art schools and within our own CE department, and whose work includes furniture, carpentry, art making, musical instruments, learning technologies, and more. Joining them are two new instructors in Jewelry Making & Repair, who together bring experience in specialized craft, entrepreneurship, logistics, and instruction at the highest level. Their professional backgrounds, connections, and passion will be of such benefit to our students. Shifts in our Piano Technology instructors allows for our first appointment directly from the Teaching Assistant (TA) program, and new professional growth for faculty members. Supporting our faculty across the School, new TA’s and staff members also bring a wealth of lived experiences and professional backgrounds to their multifaceted roles. 

Throughout our community, each individual contributes to the uniqueness that defines our School. It’s within this rich mix that we find the essence of NBSS: a changing and lasting community, composed of compelling individual stories and experiences, forming a place of strength, passion, and endurance.

As we step forward into a new season, I look forward to discovering the many possibilities that reside within us all, and the strengths that we will expand and explore by shared work, together.


Sarah Turner, President