Ms. Gartland: Practically an Art Therapist


Art Teacher Ms.Gartland.

By Amory Moore 

One of LHHS’ most adored teachers presides in L-C109. Christine Gartland, more commonly known as Ms. G, is the heart and soul of the school’s ceramics department.

“I think so many students come to Ms. Gartland because she does not judge,” Nubia Casto Torres, 12, stated. “She is always there to listen to anyone that wants to rant or vent, and she always has the best advice, too.” 

Ms. Gartland isn’t just a teacher, though. “Any time I am struggling with something, she will come and help me figure it out, clay related or not. And anytime I feel discouraged or down, she helps me get back on my groove,” Nubia added.

Will Currie, 11, is another one of Ms. Gartland’s students who value the environment she’s created.

“I love the environment that she has built in her classroom,” Currie said. “When I’m there, I feel very safe and like I have somewhere to go if I ever need it.”

When asked why she thinks that students find comfort in her, Ms. Gartland replied that she treats her students like people first, with real problems. “I remember how hard it was being a teenager, and I love being here to help others,” Gartland responded.

Ms. G has been teaching at Lake Highlands for the past eight years. While she currently teaches only ceramics-related courses, she used to teach Art 1 before the ceramics program grew. Now, she teaches regular ceramics along with AP 3D and Studio Art 3D.

“I was struggling a lot starting out on the wheel, but as soon as she [Ms. G] helped me, I started to love the wheel,” Nubia said. “Ever since then, I can’t go more than three days without throwing, and you will most likely find me in her room at least twice a day.”

Similar to Nubia, several of Gartland’s students can be found in her classroom outside of their normal ceramics time.

“It’s hard to put into words. I love working with teens, by far the funniest humans, and there is NEVER a dull moment in the classroom. I also love witnessing the kindness they show to one another. It really gives me hope for the future,” Gartland commented.

If Ms. G couldn’t be a ceramics teacher, she would be an art therapist. But she also considered interior design in college. She’s always had creativity in her brain.

“She doesn’t want you to make something that already exists, but something that is simply unique to you,” Currie added.

It’s a common running theme with Ms. Gartland that she always does her best to enhance her student’s creative abilities.

“My favorite thing about Ms. Gartland is that she always encourages her students. You will never find her trying to change or limit a student’s mind when it comes to their creativity for a project,” Nubia said.

Nubia also added that Ms. G will always try to find ways for her student’s ideas to come to life, even using mixed media to add character to a project.

“My favorite moment of the school year is when I get a student on the wheel and they are able to make their first piece. The look of pride on their faces is one of the main reasons why I love my job so much,” Gartland responded.

Gartland also included that frequently, she catches students in a quiet moment of reflection over their own projects. She gets chills in those moments and it’s why she loves teaching; that she has the opportunity to help students create a masterpiece.

“I really enjoy her class and I truly feel honored to have her as a teacher because without her, (and the wheel) I would not be the person I am today,” Nubia concluded.