Our new Guest Art Teacher - Feb 10, 2017

Dear McDonald International Students and Families,

I hope everyone enjoyed the snow day on Monday. Upon returning to school students shared that they spent the day making snow angles, building snowmen, and drinking hot chocolate- what fun! Due to this surprise day off, we will likely have to make this day up by adding a day to the end of the school year. Please stay tuned for an email from the school district.

I am proud to share that McDonald International was awarded a $725 Shared Savings Award due to the hard work we have done to help the district avoid wasting resources and teach environmental stewardship. A special thank you to the families and students who serve on our Green Team during lunch.

In the last Principal Newsletter, I shared that we were in the process of looking for a long-term sub to teach art for the remainder of the school year. I am very pleased that we have found someone who seems like a great fit. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Willemsen. Below is some more on Ms. Willemsen, in her own words.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out.

Michelle Goldberg


Hello to the beautiful McDonald community!

Thank you so much for welcoming me as your Guest Art Teacher. This is my second long-term Art position, and I love creating a space where all students can be free to explore and create in a happy, fun space where we can learn about artists, art concepts, and techniques. I enjoy introducing students to contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds. Among my current inspirations are Shepard Fairey’s Red, White, and Blue portraits, Favianna Rodriguez’s “Migration is Beautiful” butterfly series, and Julie Kim’s children’s book illustrations. My past teaching projects (some of which may pop up in the halls of McDonald) include African-American jazz portraits, National Park landscapes, recycled 3-D art monsters, and Russian folk patterned Olympic & Paralympic icons.

I have a B.A. in American Studies/Art History from U.C. Santa Cruz, and studied Education at Santa Clara U. and Harvard Graduate School of Education. I am also the Education Specialist for DefineAmerican.com, an organization that uses the power of story to shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. In addition, I will soon be a certified Professional Development Trainer for Teaching Tolerance, helping educators infuse social justice standards into their classes. I know lifting an appreciation for concepts of identity, diversity, justice, and action are important to the educators at McDonald international and I expect we will explore them in the art room as well.

My goals at McDonald are to make sure all students feel that we each are true artists, that mistakes are just challenges, and that mixing creativity with effort will take us far!

If you would like to support the Art room by volunteering (thanks already to the amazing Judy Aks), please email me. Extra help displaying art, photographing it for Artsonia, and with any messier projects will be rewarded with much appreciation…

See you in Artlandia!

Karen Lee Willemsen, Ed.M. 

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