Mr. Garrard's Bio
Michelangelo once humbly described how he could create such masterpieces, such beauty from raw blocks of marble, “I merely uncover what is already there!”
My art teacher in high school, Lynn Mills, used to tell me this and use it as a metaphor for the teaching profession. It was because of her passion, idealistic and altruistic nature, I began college already decided that I too was going to be a high school teacher one day.
In 1994, after graduating with honors in Studio Fine Arts from the University of Puget Sound and being named All-American in the decathlon, I moved to the sunny Los Angeles area from Washington to train for the Olympic Trials, continue creating art and complete my teacher education. In 1996, when my body began to falter and Olympic dreams fade, I began teaching part-time. I also worked as an artist painting and designing stages from 1996-99. I began my first long term art teaching position in 1999 at Berendo M.S. There I worked with the wonderful staff and students to build an outstanding award-winning middle school arts program from 1999-2006. In the spring of 2004, I was awarded the $5,000 Dr. Lynn Hickey Award for outstanding art teaching by the LAUSD School Board in partnership with Neutrogena Corporation. In fall 2006, Superintendent Richard Alonzo asked me to join his cabinet staff as an arts advisor to assist him with the myriad pressing issues of opening VAPA – (then called Central L.A. High #9). I have been blessed to be a part of our school’s history since being a member of a local arts focus group in 2001 when Mr. Alonzo unveiled his proposal to make 450 N. Grand an arts high school.
As the school opened in the fall of 2009, I commenced my current position as a visual arts teacher. For the past three consecutive years I have been voted most inspirational visual arts teacher by our students. I love teaching! And continuing with the tradition my art teacher graciously passed on to me - I too have an immense passion for uncovering and developing the hidden talents within our students. I continue to create, exhibit and sell my own artwork as well – mostly paintings and world travel photography. I also have a lovely wife and three beautiful children.
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La Moin Garrard