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Teacher Tuesday: Ann Townsend-Zhu

Townsend-Zhu+in+the+Huron+Mountains+of+Michigan%E2%80%99s+Upper+Peninsula
Townsend-Zhu in the Huron Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what hobbies/sports you do.

A: This is my first year here at Huron and my 12th year teaching high school art. I was born in Michigan and lived out in Arizona for many years before moving back. I go for lots of hikes and do yoga. I’m also a yoga teacher.

 

Q: What do you teach and why?

A: In all my years of teaching I’ve been an art teacher. My first memory of wanting to be an art teacher was in elementary school, so it was something I knew I wanted to do from the beginning. I wouldn’t want to teach anything else since I think art’s a great way for people to interact with the world and develop the brain.

 

Q: Have you always been interested in art?

A: Yeah, I have always loved art for sure. I feel like I was such a stereotypical art kid especially in high school. I took AP Art Studio and I was like that introverted kid with the sketchbook who was always in the art room.

 

Q: What/who inspired you to become a teacher?

A: I thought my art teacher in elementary school was very cool and I wanted to grow up and be just like them. So, I went in to college freshman year for art education and that’s what I graduated with.

 

Q: What do you do in your free time?

A: When I’m not being a mom or a teacher I read a lot of books and hang out with my family.

 

Q: What is one motto you will always live by?

A: “Make smart life decisions: be good, eat leafy green vegetables, wear a seatbelt, hydrate, do your homework, clean your room…” Usually rambling suggestions I have every Friday at the end of class.

 

Q: What is your favorite teaching moment?

A: I’m not sure if it’s one specific moment as much as a phase that students go through. I’ve always liked to teach intro level classes because I get students who claim that they can only draw stick figures because they “can’t do art”. Then, they end up trying art and it shocks them. I always love that “holy crap I just did this” moment where they’ll just sit there quietly, astounded and also proud. They’ll have a slight grin on their face like they’re trying to keep themselves calm, and that’s when my heart explodes.

 

Q: What surprised you about this year?

A: I had a general idea that I would like it here at Huron, but I am pleasantly surprised at my depth of devotion to the school already. I love the students, the staff, and the general vibes here. Everything about it is exactly what I want.

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About the Contributor
Iris Gong, Staff Writer
Iris is currently in 11th grade and this is her first year as a part of the Huron Emery’s staff. Iris is involved in the Huron Biology Club, PaintSmiles art charity organization, and Asian Youth Liberty League. As an art enthusiast, she likes to paint with watercolor and explore new crafts in her free time. Her favorite book is The Invisible Life of Addie Larue and her favorite ice cream flavor is Black Cherry from Washtenaw Dairy.
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