Brett Owen was in first-grade, she walked into her class’ career day
with overalls on her body, a bright handkerchief tied around her neck,
and a ball cap positioned sideways on her head. She was dressed as her
dream career: an artist.
“I guess that’s how [my mom] thought an
artist would dress!”, said Owen, who is now the art teacher at
Scottsburg Middle School. “I’ve kept with art because I enjoy it, and
it’s a big part of who I am. I can’t remember a time I haven’t loved
Owen’s love for art blossomed as she began drawing portraits. She remembers drawing her first portrait of her grandmother.
was probably seven, and she was sick in bed. My aunt said that I just
sat beside her and used a pen and notepad to sketch out all the
details,” Owen said.
The portrait, which the family still owns,
shows her grandmother and her grandmother’s room, complete with tissues
beside her, a lamp on her nightstand, and the pattern of her shirt and
“I enjoy portraits because it causes you to look at the
person more carefully. To me, it’s exciting to notice little details
about them that I would otherwise miss,” Owen said. “I guess I’ve always
enjoyed slowing down to notice the details around me.”
graduated from high school, her artwork was noticed even more when she
entered college at Indiana University. Her painting was chosen to
advertise the advanced painting course at IU Bloomington.
“I love oil paints, and I love painting portraits and nature,” Owen said.
took her love of nature and art and painted a scene at Lake Monroe,
where she and her husband witnessed a moment of celebration.
favorite piece was probably a scene I painted of Lake Monroe. There was a
boat that got stuck in the shore, and five college kids helped to push
it back out. They were all celebrating with their arms in the air, and
the old couple on the boat were waving happily,” Owen said. “My husband
took a picture of that moment, so I used it for a painting. I really
liked the stormy sky and the colors in the water.”
Along with her
love art and creating portraits, Owen has another detail about her life
that only about 1 in 50 children share in the United States — she is a
“Growing up as a twin, we were either best friends or
enemies, depending on the day. There’s no one who can get under your
skin quite like your twin, but that’s probably true for all siblings.
However, it was nice to always have someone there,” Owen said.
Growing up, Owen always had someone to share her milestones, her day-to-day life experiences, and even her birthday.
her fraternal twin by her side, Owen learned how to swim, learned how
to drive a car, went to college together, and now, live in the same
city. At random, they start talking about the same things, sharing a
twin intuition, where they finish each other’s sentences or thoughts.
And, sometimes, they are even mistaken for one another.
fraternal, but we’ve been told we look pretty similar. My sister came to
help at an art show at Corydon Elementary one year, and she was
bombarded with kids yelling, ‘Mrs. Owen!’ Once they got a little closer,
they looked a little confused and asked, ‘Mrs. Owen’s sister?’”, Owen
Despite spending their lives being completely intertwined,
Owen and her sister differ on their careers. As a lifelong lover of art,
Owen decided when she was in college that she wanted to be a teacher.
She made this decision after spending time in the pool and giving swim
lessons to children and adults.
“I used to give lessons to all age
groups ranging from three to adults,” said Owen, who was
student-athlete in cross-country and track during her years at Salem
High School. “Once I realized I really working with kids and seeing them
improve with swim lessons, I knew I wanted to add education to my
Now that Owen is a teacher, she loves her job at SMS. She
loves her job so much that she drives more than 30 miles from home to
work at Scott 2.
“The technology is pretty great, but most of all,
I love the positive atmosphere,” Owen said. “I think the drive is well
worth it because there are so many positives about SMS. Most of all, I
love the positive atmosphere, the respectful students, and supportive
staff and administration.”
Owen’s positive attitude and dedication
to her work and to her students are what make the difference for
hundreds of students at SMS. At Scott County School District 2, Owen’s
story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.