I grew up in Fort Atkinson, WI and went to Purdy Elementary School kindergarten through 5th grade. All six years, I had an amazing and inspiring elementary art teacher named Mrs. Gomez. She always had visiting artists, operas and murals. You name it, she’s done it. Even though the district has increased her work load to almost double that of when she started teaching, she still manages to create permanent public art to make Purdy the special place I remember it growing up.
Clay stomp mural from Joel Pfeiffer a few years ago
Clay stomp mural from 1992..
..and my tile from the clay stomp in second grade!
I visited with Mrs. Gomez over winter break. As we are now colleagues and no longer teacher/student, our discussions turned to a more political and professional direction. I’m worried that amazing teachers like Mrs. Gomez and the programs they have created are going to fade out unless we fight for them. Every child deserves the art experience I had growing up. I will advocate and fight for my students to make sure they have inspiring art experiences as well.