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FMS art teacher retires

Linda Garner spent 29 of her teaching years at Farragut Middle School.

The art teacher expected to be a high school teacher. However, her plans changed after she began teaching middle school.

“I love teaching,” Garner said.

She started teaching later than most at age 38. She left a career in banking.

“I found no purpose in counting money at all.

“I had always had I the back of my mind to teach art,” Garner said.

In her nearly three decades of teaching, Garner has seen many changes at FMS.

“We have more art teachers –– that’s been a recent positive thing. We have art teachers in all grades.

“Everybody needs art. It’s just like P.E. It helps the other parts of the brain learn. By doing different things, you’re using parts of the brain you didn’t even know you could use,” she said.

But with teacher cutbacks a looming concern, Garner said, “Art will probably be cut first.”

She said that would be a tragedy.

“Everyone has creativity.”

Two of Garner’s favorite projects to teach are a paper maché mask and spatter painting (students use a toothbrush to spatter paint on cut-out shapes).

Some students are harder to reach than others, she said.

But learning how to draw with perspective often catches the attention of the students who may have otherwise lost interest in art.

“Perspective drawing will grab some kids who don’t think they have the talent. That’s fun when they ‘get it’ and say, ‘I can’t believe it!’”

“If they don’t care, it’s hard to make them care. … But, some have gone on to do art as a career,” she added of her students.

One such student, who contacted Garner via e-mail, now is designing video games. He thanked her for her influence in his life.

Garner said she often sees students around town.

“They tell me, ‘Thanks.’”


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