Who’s in Room 1600?


McCracken County High School has been blessed with such an outstanding art department, but not much is known about the hustlers behind the success. One of the masterminds is found in room 1600. Mrs. Stamper is the teacher for Art 1; Drawing and Painting 1 & 2; and Jewelry and Metalsmithing 1 & 2, not to mention sponsoring the school’s National Art Honor Society and being the secretary for Paducah’s Creative and Cultural Council. But how did she end up here? 

Stamper was born and raised in Southern Mississippi where she went to public school.  Throughout school, Mrs. Stamper dealt with undiagnosed learning disorders, bullying, and under-stimulation in almost all of her classes. So much so to the point she wanted to drop out if she didn’t have free tuition to University of Southern Mississippi. In highschool, she was into literature more than she was art. However, after maxing out all the literature classes, she had to sign up for an art class. Junior year, she was helping her art teacher clean out his storage closet and he offered her a book on American metalsmithing. “I was looking through it, and I did a lot of assemblage, sculpturing, and putting things together. I didn’t like to draw, and that was when I was like, “Oh, this is what I want to do.” That moment changed things for Stamper. Graduating highschool and going to college were now important to her, but she couldn’t get a metalsmithing certificate from the schools. So, she went to college to get her bachelors in fine arts and a degree in sculpture, which has metalsmithing applications. However, she never thought she would teach before graduate school.

While in college, Mrs. Stamper met her now husband, Mr.Kimball, another art teacher at McCracken. The two got married, but kept their own last names because in the art world your name becomes your brand, and at the time of their marriage they were both known by their names as individuals. In a Stamper-Kimball manner, they had a potluck wedding with a five minute ceremony and a ten hour reception. The two ended up in Paducah because of an artist relocation program in 2000. Then the highschool opened up, and the rest is history in the making.