I arrived at Millbrook in 1976 and was hired to teach all of the drawing and photography classes as well as coach soccer. Cindy and I were engaged at the time, and she joined me in 1977 after we were married. Today I teach Drawing & Painting and Print Making. I am particularly excited about getting back to print making.
One of the things that I enjoy doing, and that I've become known for within the student body is the sharing of life lessons. The experience that I've had in working with kids for 37 years has taught me that if you genuinely respect all kids, and care about forging strong relationships with them, they will in turn, respect you, listen to you, and learn. Millbrook's founder, Mr. Edward Pulling said that true educators teach by using the strengths of their own personality and personal experiences in life. I agree. I use a human and genuine approach to teaching the kids. So I guess there isn't any one lesson that I would call my favorite, it is merging life lessons to time in the classroom and on the field that I enjoy most.
The reason I have stayed at Millbrook is actually the same reason I came here in the first place - I wanted to teach both soccer and art. My students know that my father was an illustrator who worked from his studio at home. Drawings, paintings and photography were everywhere, and as a kid, my father often would ask me to work on various projects for him. Art was my normal and it’s kind of funny because I grew up believing everyone could do art. I have carried that conviction to the classroom where I enjoy watching the student that arrives in my class convinced that "he/she can't do art" only to discover that they have some talent. In the classroom, and especially with beginning artists, I try to convey to the students that everyone has a natural artistic ability, as I have always believed. Identifying and cultivating the inner artist in every student is what I enjoy most and I attribute that passion to my upbringing. I suppose if I think about it, my approach to coaching is really no different. I love the first days of practice when the new combination of soccer players arrives at Millbrook. Some kids are skilled in soccer, and others might never have played at this level. We have had great success on the soccer field over the years. Perhaps some of the magic is in part due to that same attitude- that our starting point can be likened to a blank canvas, that most definitely will at some point, become a work of art.
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