The Apache Pow Wow

Thank You, Mr. Ganley!

Amber Chong, Editor in Chief

“Donned in a cap, smock, and converse shoes, Mr. Ganley steps into his role as AHS’ Ceramics teacher. He’s taught other school subjects before, but the most admirable choice is his to head G-102, a room which serves as a hub of creative and artistic freedom for students. There, one can find huge cabinets housing clay pieces (pinch pots, masks, whistles, etc.), long tables lined with newspaper, and an assortment of vibrant artworks tying the eclectic, yet immediately comfy space together.

Granted, most who take Ceramics are not first aware of what an asset this class is to a daily schedule. Many would not describe themselves as artistically inclined and vouch that they’re only taking the class to fulfill their VPA requirement. Yet despite reservations about learning art, almost all can realize that they stand to gain from the class they were initially “trying to get over”. And this is largely because of Mr. Ganley’s teaching. He imbues everyday with such a refreshing level of enthusiasm; his attention to maintaining a fun, yet fair environment creates the refuge students need, and many find themselves breathing a sigh of content as they walk through the doors to grab their paint-splattered denim.

Ceramics is the time for one to simply unwind and find relief from all the harbored stress. It is home to the left brain, where one thinks in geometric shapes and complementary colors. Most of all, it is the place to get lost in one’s own imagination, in the strangely soothing alt. rock blasted through the stereo. No other class provides such solace in noise.

Exploring one’s artistic ability is similar to fine tuning any talent, and Mr. Ganley’s knowledge of ceramics allows him to be a supportive resource. It is clear that he has a genuine love for the craft and the growth of his students, whether that be personally or artistically. Though he tries to keep a set schedule, he respects everyone’s pace and never rushes anyone into submitting work they’re not proud of. Instead of being frustrated when students are behind, he acts with patience, kindness, and understanding. On any day, one can find Mr. Ganley assisting students in art’s self expression. If they have curiosity in creating a certain texture or color blend, he earnestly obliges to help them achieve their vision. Mr. Ganley’s flexibility and ability to go beyond the scope of curriculum is invaluable.

Furthermore, Mr. Ganley instills a sense of responsibility in the classroom. While he is flexible, he also inspires balance with his organizational skills. He instructs students to contribute to a clean and equitable environment where everyone has a “job”, such as scraping the table or pushing in all the chairs. He ensures that no one is doing the grunt of the work and that everyone is polite.

Mr. Ganley is a stellar teacher. His warm devotion to students embracing art and regarding their peers is so greatly appreciated. More than he knows!”  —Amber Chong, 12, Pow Wow, Editor in Chief

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Thank You, Mr. Ganley!