HCS Changemaker: Linda Hunziker
Congratulations to Ms. Linda Hunziker, a media & arts teacher at Challenger Middle School who has been selected as this week’s HCS Changemaker! (Formerly Teacher Spotlight)Ms. Hunziker says that she cannot remember a time when she didn’t want to be an educator. From a young age, she enjoyed playing school and pretending that she was the teacher. She also enjoyed drawing, but it wasn’t until high school when she took her first art class that it quickly became apparent that art was a true passion. Ms. Hunziker enjoyed the opportunity to express herself and learn about new tools that helped make her art even more creative. For her, she says, being an art teacher is really just the combination of two loves.
“She’s one of those special teachers,” says Challenger Middle Principal Dr. Dianne Hasty, “when you go in her classroom it’s always calm [and] the students are always engaged, but they’re having a good time.” Ms. Hunziker employs a variety of art methods and styles in her classroom, which includes anything from drawing and sculpting to computer-aided 3D rendering. She says that all students can be artists, even if they aren’t the best at drawing or sculpting. “By using a variety of materials, we can find a place for every student to be successful,” she adds. In Ms. Hunziker’s media arts class, students also research different art-related careers every week, so they learn what degrees or classes to work towards in college. Anastashia King says that she really loves art and Ms. Hunziker “makes it even better.”
When she isn’t teaching, Ms. Hunziker continues her passion for drawing, painting, and working on small craft projects. She really likes crafting small things to be given as gifts for others to enjoy. She can be found at the library at least once a week looking for the next book to read, and even occasionally plays video games. She spends time with her family, which includes a husband of twenty-three years, a twenty-year-old son, and two dogs. A graduate from the University of Florida, she is also a huge Gators fan.
Ms. Hunziker believes it is very important for students to have an opportunity to use the other, more creative, part of their brain while at school. She loves that her classroom is a place where someone that might struggle a bit academically can succeed and even be a leader. While she recognizes that all of her students might not go on to have an art-related career, she works every day to add lifelong enrichment to her students’ lives so that they will become more whole, well-rounded individuals.