Ani Avakian

Zendejas enjoys spending time with her family and learning more about the technicalities of art.

Painting a future at Clark: introducing the new art teacher

Though it may not seem like it, renowned painters like Leonardo da Vinci and Bob Ross had inspirational mentors to teach them the lifestyle of being an artist. As your pencil, marker or paintbrush hits the paper, you remember all the things you were taught and start to create a masterpiece of your past knowledge.

This year, Joanna Zendejas was welcomed into the art department at Clark. With her art skills and love for teaching, Zendejas helps students show their potential in the artistic world.

“It happened by chance I guess,” Zendejas said, “but I really liked it here.” Zendejas says that she enjoyed the scenery of Clark, as well as the school’s interesting culture. She also says that, due to prior experience, she was easily accustomed to the school’s unique block schedule. “That’s a huge plus for me, especially since I only have a fourth and sixth period,” Zendejas said. Clark offered two more art classes due several students requesting art classes.

Before coming to work at Clark, Zendejas received her undergraduate degree in art education at Cal State Long Beach. She took courses in the fine arts and education and worked closely with the teaching staff to help her get her teaching credentials shortly after she graduated. After getting her qualifications, Zendejas worked at a charter school in South Central Los Angeles. “I liked it there,” she said, “mostly.”

Zendejas has always been interested in art, focusing on the technicalities and learning how politics plays a role in the art world. Over the course of college, she gained more knowledge on the techniques and skills of art. Zendejas plans to get a masters in fine art, planning to pursue her own concepts in art and not be told what to do. “It’s just enjoyable to do,” she said. “There are many other things about art besides liking to do it.”

Zendejas aims to have more classes and to stay at Clark. She desires to move closer to not only have better access to the school, but to be closer to her family as well. “This is a nice school, and all the kids are so cute,” Zendejas said.

As time passes, she wants to be given the opportunity to teach the AP Studio Art and Design course. “I’m definitely open that as a possibility because it is really fun, and it gives a voice and style to the students,” Zendejas said.

Although she teaches only fourth and sixth period, students enjoy being in her class and expressing themselves through several types of art mediums. Junior Santana Molina says that she likes the fact that Zendejas allows students to work at their own pace. “She’s really nice and chill, and offers advice and tips for our work,” Molina said.


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