Step into her classroom this time of year, and you will smell a campfire candle and likely see the lights turned down, a lit Christmas tree, and a fire roaring in a virtual fireplace on her smart board screen.
This is the perfect scene for veteran art and spanish teacher, Suzy Lindem,
affectionately known as “Ms. Suzy”.
Ms. Suzy has devoted 21 years to teaching students and investing in their lives here, making her the longest-standing teacher at GPA. She has also spent her evenings taking classes at DBU, and she is about to graduate this week with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Having 3 children who graduated from here in 1999, 2001 and 2004, she put off finishing college until now. That hasn’t stopped her.
The new building will provide her with a brand new art studio. No longer will students have to clean up art projects in order to lay down their spanish books.
Ms. Suzy doesn’t hide her excitement about getting a new art studio, or about her art classes in general. These are just a few of the things she is most excited for.
“The space available, just having extra storage and two sinks would be awesome,’’ said Ms. Suzy.
Being an experienced artist, she has gotten to try many different art techniques and styles like pottery, graphite, and shading, but she definitely has her favorites.
“I love graphite drawing and watercolor,” she said. “I love teaching those too.’’
Ms. Suzy has one main inspiration in her life that led her to teaching art.
“Well I grew up with my dad being an artist,” said Ms. Suzy. “That wasn’t his profession, but he did that in his free time. I didn’t set out to be an art teacher, but a teacher.’’
This is true. She can teach anything. She has taught Spanish I and II for many years. Now, she teaches Spanish II with a full art class schedule.
How does she do it all?
She has many inspirations, like her dad, whom she looks up to.
“I love Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, Picasso, Van Gogh and oh there are so many of them!’’ said Ms. Suzy.
She really enjoys getting to open student’s minds to new art styles they haven’t seen before and how to improve as an artist.
Senior Allee Meier, Sophomore Emily Brudi, and Senior Melody Burris are just a few of the students Ms. Suzy has inspired.
“I think what I like about her class is being able to participate in TAPPS and the different levels of classes she has,’’ said Meier.
Ms. Suzy, being her bubbly self, has a creative and exciting art class.
“Her classes are fun and I learn so much from her,’’ said Brudi.
Ms. Suzy is so kind to everyone and is loved by a lot of students.
“I enjoy Ms. Suzy’s great sense of humor the most, and the fact that she plays Christmas music starting from October in her classes nonstop,’’ said Brudi.
One student here can claim that she has had Ms. Suzy as her art teacher for every single grade: 1st through 12th! Senior Melody Burris, has taken
Ms. Suzy’s various art classes every single year. That is unheard of these days, but also shows this teacher’s versitility through the grades.
Ms. Suzy still teaches art to elementary students T/Th and jr high and high school M,W, and F.
“I enjoy how much Ms. Suzy cares about each of her students. She doesn’t just care about the projects we are working on, more importantly she cares about us,’’ said Burris.
Burris not only loved Ms. Suzy’s class because of this, but other reasons too.
“I enjoy that Ms. Suzy helps us find the medium of art that we enjoy most and are the best at and helps us utilize our interest and talents to produce the best projects,’’ said Burris.
Burris isn’t the only one who loves taking Ms. Suzy’s class over the years.
“I’ve taken 4 years including art 1, 2, 3, and pottery,’’ said Meier.
“I’ve taken about 8 years of her class,’’ said Brudi.
They have learned a lot of new techniques, but hold on to a few certain ones the most.
“The most important thing I’ve learned is how to make ceramic pieces and how to throw on a wheel because I think I’ll use those skills the most,’’ said Meier.
Burris has a favorite skill too.
“The most important thing I’ve learned is to work your hardest on every project, because you never know what you are capable of until it’s finished,’’ said Burris.
Ms. Suzy has been an inspiration to these girls, growing their love for art every time they step into her classroom.
“Yes I do, I love everything there is about art and the art world,’’ said Brudi.
“I hope to be an art therapist because I love art and psychology and helping people,” said Meier. “I hope that I can also make my own pieces in my spare time.”
Burris, who won a silver medal at TAPPS 3A State Art contest last year said, “I don’t plan on pursuing a career in art. My plan right now is to go to Baylor to become a pediatric nurse; however I hope to take some art classes as electives in college.’’
It would be Burris’ first time to have a new art teacher.