Sara Olds

BA - Humanities

MA - American Fine & Decorative Arts

Sara Olds received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Brigham Young University, and her Masters of Arts in American Fine and Decorative Arts from The Sotheby's Institute in New York. Sara also completed training in Arts Integration at The Crystal Bridges Museum....


Along with her focused study in business, her academic and work careers have given her unique insight into the practical application of the arts within various academic disciplines. Her interest in education blossomed during her master's program, when she recognized the failings of the traditional school system to encourage and teach individuals to learn to learn, and love to learn. She also became keenly aware of  the  Humanities' unique ability to unite information from various fields and solidify understanding of new material. The Humanities also indirectly teach skills for life, including critical analysis, empathy, and tolerance to name a few.


In addition to her love of the arts, Sara loves to teach. She has taught everything from swim lessons, to voice & piano lessons, to operating her own summer camp. Inspired by her second grade teacher, Sara believes learning is, and should be fun! 

The Mythology of Harry Potter

Ages: 13+

Location: In-Person & Online

Homework: Approximately 60 minutes a week

PreReqs: Ability to write a one page report. 

Materials: Kits will be provided for online students


Required Books: (Fall) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Mythology, the root of the long-standing tradition of storytelling that sits at the base of the western literary tradition, was the means by which ancient peoples transmitted ideas of great significance over generations. The ancient tradition of myth has carried forward over thousands of years to our modern era. The myths and mythological characters of ancient origin continue to be integrated into modern literature and media to communicate deep and vast arrays of meanings to modern audiences.


A master of this mythological universe, JK Rowling utilized mythology from Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt to build the wizarding world of Harry Potter. In this class we dive into this enchanting, mysterious and even dangerous world and examine the mythological references JK Rowling used to create her characters and the world they inhabit. We will learn about the origins of these mythological references, and their significance in the story of Harry Potter. We will start by looking at the primary characters in Harry Potter and the source of their inspiration. Students will compare their characteristics to the attributes of their mythological counterparts. They will learn about the Hero’s journey and chart Harry’s journey in these early books. We will also delve into side characters, locations, mythical animals and even the archetypes carried across the Harry Potter series. Students will learn how to analyze literature through the mythological and archetypal references and come to understand the deeper meanings JK Rowling communicates to her audience, as well as the origins and significance of these mythological connections.


Just like Harry Potter, we will sort the class into houses. These houses will work together on group projects, presentations and class games. Just like at Hogwarts, students will earn points for their house through their good work and good citizenship. Although students will not have to pass their O.W.L.S, students will need to be engaged and dedicated students like Hermione Granger to succeed. 


This class will prove to be as exciting and educational as Harry, Ron & Hermione’s adventures – but not nearly as dangerous!