Art department continues to face staffing challenges


A timeline of this year’s new Painting and Drawing I teachers. Yoonsun Chai is the third new full-time art teacher to be hired this school year following the resignations of Art Palacios and Holly Mujica. Graphic by Emily Zhu.

By Marie Godderis, Elli Lahdesmaki, Staff Writers

Newly hired Painting and Drawing I teacher, Holly Mujica, resigned on Friday, February 15 due to personal matters. Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, the art department has faced challenges regarding teacher transitions in drawing and painting classes. The changing of instructors in these classes have not only brought difficulties upon the teachers but also raised concerns from art students.

Some students in painting and drawing classes have expressed worries about their learning environment being disrupted by the changes in staff.

“It’s important to have consistency in a classroom,” Art teacher Kayla DeMarquez said. “What’s been hard for students is they get comfortable with a new teacher and then the energy in the room and things change.”

Students also felt that it was difficult to follow the different grading and expectations of all the different teachers.

“It was sometimes hard to continue with the projects because the new teachers that would take over didn’t know what the instructions or guidelines were, so we didn’t always know what to do,” Painting I sophomore Megan Apfelberg said.

Mujica is not the first teacher that has left the art department this year. The previous Drawing I and Painting I teacher Art Palacios left his position one week after the school year began. The art department rotated through several substitutes to cover three sections of Drawing I and one section of Painting I while they tried to find a full-time teacher replacement.

The art department hired Mujica to replace Palacios on Monday, October 22, however, she left after four months of teaching. Since her departure, the art department has found another replacement, Yoonsun Chai, whom they hired over winter break. DeMarquez has also been covering an extra class since Chai was hired.

Aside from having to search for two new teachers, the art department has also faced challenges with funding this year. The art team finds themselves running out of basic supplies such as canvases, paint and chemicals. The art department has appealed to higher district officials, administration and parents to begin a visual arts boosters to finance class trips, activities, new projects and supplies.

As of now, the art department hopes of ending the year on a stronger note, with Chai taking over the drawing, painting, and yearbook class.