Mr. El-Hassan Shares His Love for the Arts
Local Astoria resident Mr. El-Hassan loves teaching at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts as an English and Social Studies Strategic Learning Specialist, and its not just because of his nice and short commute every day.
“I love being in this place. This school is wonderful and amazing. I love being around the arts and it combines my passion for teaching with the arts. It is an amazing place to be,” he expresses.
Before Mr. El-Hassan began teaching at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, he worked at Robert F. Kennedy Community High School in Flushing, Queens teaching English, Social Studies, and its after school music and art programs. Having a sister who studies fine arts, and playing the guitar, mandolin, and ukulele himself, are not the only affiliations with the arts for Mr. El-Hassan. Mr. El-Hassan also has an undergraduate degree in drama and theatrical arts from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
During his years before teaching, he found himself spending a lot of time around the dance and vocal departments at SUNY Plattsburgh. He also studied in Scotland and was the artistic director in an improvisation comedy team, which he states was his best preparation for teaching: Because it made him more adaptable.
Although his mediocre band in high school was a start in the arts for this teacher, theatre was his calling and passion. “It wasn’t until I got to college that had more time. I started doing more theatre; productions, plays and acting. That’s when I really fell in love with the arts,” he says.
In the end, this teacher is just as excited as the students are for all the new concerts, performances and plays we have to look forward to this year. And there was definitely no hesitation to what studio this teacher would be in if Mr. El-Hassan went to Frank Sinatra. “Theatre,” he said in a heartbeat.
by Lorraine Bishop ’14
Photo: Lorraine Bishop ’14