I have worked at Beckman High School since 2006 as the Graphic Design teacher and briefly a track and field coach. When I started at Beckman High School, the graphic design class consisted of "photoshop" tutorials and wasn't the direction that I envisioned for the subject. The Beckman staff pushed me to develop vigorous curriculum and apply for UC approval for Graphic Design 1, Graphic Design 2 and Graphic Design 3. These were all approved by the University of California system and now are official UC, Visual and Performing Arts approved classes.
The Graphic Design classes are taught in a way to simulate an advertising or creative studio. The students participate in developing logos, ads, posters for clients from the school and community. We design all of the marketing promotions for our Performing Arts Department for example the theatre posters, choir and orchestra posters and advertisements. We have worked with the SoCal Film Festival to create a brand identity and add that identity to all supporting collateral. The class has also colloborated with the Tustin Police Department, MongMonge, Organex, Gorgeously Gamine, Kawaii Kulture, Latin's Income Tax, Shop leah Lily, Noah's Nice Painting, Photonometry, CIT, and many more. An archive of clients and posters can be found under the archives link.
The Graphic Design Program is now part of the CTE (Career and Tech Education) pathways.
- A Pathway is a sequence of courses within the area of interest.
- A Pathway will connect your career interests from high school to college and/or career.
- A Pathway is your educational road map guiding you to the high school courses and post-secondary options most relevant to your chosen career destination.
- A Pathway will help you acquire the depth of knowledge and skill linked with specific post-secondary programs that will lead to a certificate or degree and/or career.
Before joining the teaching profession, I worked at both ad and design agencies and I currently still have my own company, GS Designs. When working in the industry as an art director I realized I enjoyed helping others. In fact, I enjoyed this aspect of the job so much I often thought about teaching. With some prodding from my husband and family (who are all teachers) I went back to school to get my credential at Concordia University, where I received my credential and Masters in Education. Shortly after receiving my masters, I gave birth to my boy, Simon.
I am passionate about design. My teaching philosophy is stolen from a quote from Milton Glaser, "The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows".
I believe that every student can achieve success, if they have will, desire and persistence. I have seen students who have modest talent, but have these characteristics grow and gain confidence and become beautiful artists.
I believe that a student centered and collaborative classroom is extremely important. I base most of my curriculum on this idea. The class as been noted in the Orange County Register for a few of these ideas. several projects that encompass all of these characteristics. The Orange County Register has published an article about our first ever Beckman Zine , in 2014, that was distributed to the student population. In the spring of 2016 the Orange County Register wrote an article about the collaboration between the visual arts classes, painting and drawing and graphic design, and the Spanish department to illustrate children's books. These books were then donated to the local elementary schools. The advanced Graphic Design students have collaborated with the Poetry Club to produce a Communications Art Journal.showcasing poetry, artwork and creative typography.
I am always active in continuing my education and also participating in art around Orange County. I have collaborated with Laguna College of Art and Design , in 2015,for a "Valentine Zine". I have participated in the Orange County Register's Artist of the Year for the school year 2015-2016. In 2017 I submitted artwork to the Orange County’s 6th Annual What Those Who Teach Can Do exhibit, which honors local high school art educators for all they do in helping and inspiring Orange County’s next generation of creative professionals.