The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

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The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

The Official Student News Site of Parkway West High

Pathfinder

Flashback Friday: Art teacher Kat Briggs

Art+teacher+Kat+Briggs+poses+for+a+picture+in+her+art+room.+Briggs+grew+up+loving+art%2C+and+now+is+fulfilling+her+passion.+%E2%80%9CMy+own+experiences+that+I+had+outside+the+classroom+with+my+own+art+teacher+made+me+realize+that+there+are+skills+that+I+can+use+outside+of+the+classroom%2C%E2%80%9D+Briggs+said.+%E2%80%9CEncouraging+the+students+and+also+showing+interest+in+the+things+that+they+do%2C+whether+its+extracurriculars+or+their+own+hobbies+and+interests+that+they+enjoy+doing+in+their+free+time%2C+is+something+I+like+to+%5Bdo+to%5D+feel+engaged+with+them.+The+classroom+is+a+snapshot%2C+its+90+minutes+of+just+seeing+somebody+in+one+context%2C+%5Bbut%5D+everybody+is+so+much+more+than+that%2C%E2%80%9D+Briggs+said.
Sakenah Lajkem
Art teacher Kat Briggs poses for a picture in her art room. Briggs grew up loving art, and now is fulfilling her passion. “My own experiences that I had outside the classroom with my own art teacher made me realize that there are skills that I can use outside of the classroom,” Briggs said. “Encouraging the students and also showing interest in the things that they do, whether it’s extracurriculars or their own hobbies and interests that they enjoy doing in their free time, is something I like to [do to] feel engaged with them. The classroom is a snapshot, it’s 90 minutes of just seeing somebody in one context, [but] everybody is so much more than that,” Briggs said.
Art teacher Kat Briggs poses holding a giant pencil for a school photo in first grade. Briggs went to Sleepy Eye Elementary School in Sleepy Eye, MN. “I remember being so excited because we were all in a line, waiting to get our picture taken and to hold the pencil. I remember that being the most epic thing,” Briggs said. (Courtesy of Kat Briggs)

What school did you go to?

I went to a small public school called Sleepy Eye Elementary School.

How was your childhood homelife?

I had three other siblings, [and] I was the oldest of four. At home, it was bustling. We were all very similar in age, all about a year apart. So we were always either playing or yelling at each other. There was never a dull moment because we always hung out together.

What has changed, and what hasn’t?

One of the biggest things I can think of is just that we didn’t have devices around. With things being a little more analog, non-digital, we were forced to spend more time together or outside. Again, I just remember being around my siblings a lot more, whereas now, children can decompress by watching a show.

When did you know you wanted to be a teacher and teach this subject?

In middle school, I thought about it, but didn’t quite have a big decision made about it. When I was in seventh grade, we had an art class for the first time, where we would go into a section of our school building to see our art teacher, Miss Thorson. She was new to us in seventh grade, and she was a great teacher. She was very enthusiastic and engaging. She was also the director of theater backstage work. She was asking some students to help out

Art teacher Kat Briggs’ miniature army toys sit on the windowsill. The toys were similar to the ones she and her brother played with during their childhood. “We would make up all kinds of stories about [the toys]. I remember sitting in the backseat and writing stories [with my brother] while we would try to play with the toys, but it was bumpy or my little sisters would be moving around. [So instead], we’d write stories about them,” Briggs said. (Sakenah Lajkem)
with building the sets because there wasn’t an established team for that, and I ended up helping her. It was really cool because the play was

Annie, so it needed a Central Park backdrop for the day and night. They also needed a backdrop for the home that Annie was going to go live in. It was really exciting because she left it open to us. I showed the most interest in wanting to paint the stuff that was big because nobody else wanted to. My teacher was very encouraging to me and that was very empowering. I don’t think I wanted to be a teacher then, but that was the seed that was planted.

Tell me a childhood story that always makes you smile. 

My little sister was still learning how to read and spell and know her letters. The funniest thing that we still bring up in my family today is when she was learning and pointing at different things in the house, and one of the things was the jar of peanut butter and she was like, “S-K-I-P-P-Y, peanut butter.” She thought those letters spelled out peanut butter. It was hilarious.

What things make you nostalgic when you see/hear/smell/feel them?

Being in an art room. The art room was always somewhere I liked to be, even before my seventh grade experience. It’s the smell of paper and washable paint that makes me very energetic. And I played softball when I was really young, so there’s also that smell of being outside on the softball diamond base, a mix of the dirt and the grass and a sunny day. If it’s really sunny, like a spring or summer day, I think of being in softball practice because of the lighting too.

Art teacher Kat Briggs holds tightly onto her floatie at 3 years old in a pool. Briggs moved a lot as a kid, and lived in South Dakota at three. “My siblings and I were swimming, and I was apparently fighting with this boy over this float,” Briggs said. (Courtesy of Kat Briggs)
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About the Contributor
Sakenah Lajkem, Staff Writer
Pronouns: she/her Grade: 12 Years on staff: 2 What is your favorite piece of literature? Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz. Who is your hero? Jesus Christ. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? My mom's mashed potatoes.
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