I have had the privilege of teaching at BOYCP since 2013, though I began teaching in CPS 15 years ago. As a founding teacher, I have worked hard to build a comprehensive fine arts program for our students. We are proud to offer a wide variety of art disciplines and media for students to explore. I believe in the transformative power of the arts to spark social and political change, and to help us find joy and passion in our every day lives. The arts provide us with the power to tell our stories in unique ways; in my classes, I value every student's voice, story and lived experiences. The voices of the youth are crucial as we move forward together as a society - the world needs to hear your story!
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I am mom to two young children, Henry (4) and Ruby (1). I am 3rd generation to Polish immigrants, and grew up on the far northwest side in Des Plaines, IL, right next to O'Hare airport. I graduated from Maine West High School in 2002. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, baking, taking pictures, listening to music, going to concerts, painting, hiking, playing PS4, watching TV, and taking long road trips. Some of my favorite music includes Nine Inch Nails, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, The Weeknd, Lana Del Rey, LCD Soundsystem, Silversun PickUps, Manchester Orchestra, OutKast, I could go on and on and on... I like rock mostly, but I truly love all music genres! I listen (and dance!) to it all.
I would much rather be behind the camera than in front of it. I love photography so much, that according to my iPhone, as of August 24th, 2020 I have taken over 37,000 pictures since 2016! I also photograph with a Fuji XT-10 and the Nikon D-series. I'm obsessed!
On Tuesday evenings in the fall, I teach a graduate course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
called Cyberpedagogy, where I teach new and current art educators about the technical aspects and sociopolitical nature of teaching digital art making.
I specialize in digital arts, particularly photography and web/graphic design. I also love painting, especially abstract acrylic and oil painting. Prior to teaching, and throughout my career, I worked as a professional studio photographer, covering live events like weddings and photographing a variety of individual and group portraits in the studio.
Prior to teaching at BOYCP, I developed the Digital Arts program at Infinity Math, Science & Technology High School, part of the Little Village Lawndale High School campus, where I met Dr. Brekke and many other Bobcat staff!
I love technology. I teach myself new tech all the time, from coding to Adobe and beyond. I am particularly confident in using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, Illustrator and Premiere. I love editing digital photos, designing graphic page and web layouts, and editing videos.
BFA, 2006, Art Education with concentration in Electronic Imaging, UIC, Chicago; M.Ed, Educational Studies and English as Second Language, 2012, UIC, Chicago.
National Board Certified Teacher, 2013, Adolescent Art