Courtesy of The Olympian
After spending 22 years as an art teacher, Deanna Messinger is retiring from Gunn. Messinger has been the second Drawing and Painting teacher since Gunn’s founding, which is something she takes great pride in. “I think that this is kind of a phenomenal thing, and I hope the next person stays for at least 20 years if they like it,” she said.
She has liked spending time with her students, even outside a normal classroom setting. “Every other year, we’d take an artist’s trip abroad to Europe,” she said. “Those were really fun, and we would paint en plein air [outside] in Italy and other countries.”
However this year, in particular, Messinger found it difficult to work and connect with students. “It’s just been so hard to leave this year when we don’t get to really be together,” she said.
Luckily Messinger still had the opportunity to communicate and connect with the teachers in the Art department. Together, they did their best to accommodate their classes during this year in distance learning. “I’m going to miss working with just an intensely dedicated group of teachers with this common goal to brighten your minds, but also to bring joy, meaning, and purpose,” she said.
Working with so many people at Gunn has taught Messinger many lessons that she is going to remember. “For the most part, I think what I’m going to remember is the point when I realized who I was working for,” she said. “I was working for the students, and that was a huge and meaningful perspective change.”