Entering Andrean’s art room one immerses oneself in the sight and sounds of the students hunkered down at their tables working on their sculptures, their Halloween masks, their still- life paintings, their horses for the rodeo, etc. There is an infectious energy and risk-taking in all of her art classes. Everyone in her room believes that he/she is an artist. Morover, her students love Andrean. She is the mistress of smiling support for all, often nudging her students to think more deeply about their work. Also, her room with its colorful clutter suits her, and from time to time ,some of her prized “artifacts” join the lesson for the day.
Soon, Andrean will be packing up her room, maybe even sharing warm stories, for example, of why a rusty typewriter graces the entry to her classroom. Almost forty years of students from ECLC to ninth grade. Thousands of projects to recall. Years of faculty meetings and recess duties. School trips. The Permanent Art Collection. Comments for 150 students or so. Adult classes. After-school art. Interdisciplinary work with colleagues.
I wish one of Colorado’s premier art teachers a joyous retirement. Her studio awaits. Hey, Hallmark Cards, she may want a part-time job. Text me for her phone number. Forgive the cliche, this lady has talent in spades.
Here is the letter Andrean sent to her colleagues:
"After four decades of teaching, 37 at Graland, I have decided to move toward the next chapter of my life. I have had the incredible fortune to be retiring from an amazing school with wonderful colleagues, inspired students, and an incredibly supportive administration.
"Teaching at Graland helped open doors for me that I hadn’t thought possible and exposed me to opportunities that helped me both professionally and personally. I was not only encouraged to be a better teacher but also a better artist, for which I will always be grateful. Working with almost three generations of students has been incredibly rewarding including those with amazing artistic abilities and those who changed the trajectory of their
lives through their successes in art.
"Through programs at Graland I was able to travel the world, climb mountains and share outdoor life under the stars with so many like-minded educators and students. I was able to teach and learn about all facets of the art world and I was always encouraged to reach farther.
"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the places I want to travel, all the paintings I want to paint, and all the friends I want to see. I hope to stay in touch with all the people who have touched my life at Graland. You are all my family, bonded by the love of learning, caring and sharing that is the experience of Graland!"
Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.