Teacher Appreciation: Sue Botch, Glens Falls High School

Glens Falls City School District recognizes national Teacher Appreciation Week by highlighting committed and enthusiastic teachers from every one of our schools each day of the week! Read on for an inside interview with Sue Botch—one of the most dynamic teachers around our district.

art teacher smiling in front of colorful artwork

Sue Botch is a 1983 graduate of Gloversville High School. She went on to get her Bachelors of Science in Art Education from The College of Saint Rose in 1987—the same year she was hired here at Glens Falls High! This has been her home for the last 36 years! Although she has taught every medium, she loves to teach drawing, helping students learn how to observe forms and colors and help them capture realistic renditions of them… generating those ahhha moments when a student artist realizes they can!

What makes your teaching and learning environment unique?
It’s about forming relationships with students. I love getting to know them and what they are about. Art allows us to communicate differently. The creative process reveals so much about how we see the world and how we process the world around us and solve creative problems. No matter what the prompt, I get to see how each individual student processes the information to create something unique to them. The freedom to create is so personal and revealing. I am lucky to see each of them as they want to be seen.

teacher smiling with student at a computer
Sue Botch teaches art at Glens Falls High School

What’s the best thing about GF Nation?
The best thing about GF Nation is the people. There have been sooo many students who have passed through my classrooms and some of their children, and the colleagues that I have worked with all have shaped me into the teacher/ person I am today.

Describe your best lesson/unit ever, or one you and students really enjoy.
Oh man, soo many. The best ones grew from the ones that didn’t work; they have morphed into some really cool results. The Phobia project in Advanced Drawing and Painting; draw or illustrate a fear or what makes you or a viewer afraid. Some really strong images and not always pretty. The abstract cubist project in Drawing and Painting. Understanding abstraction as a continuum and the cubist style of Pablo Picasso. The Book Project with the Graphic Art students, my students illustrate stories for first grade authors! I even have two illustrators this year that were authors for this project when they were in first grade!!! The mask project from last year’s finals. The recycled materials as a medium project.

Why do you think it’s important to teach the way you do?
Art is the best subject! Freedom and expression are what we all long for. To be heard! Art allows students flexibility to make choices. When we make our own decisions, and they don’t work, we grow, when those choices work, we also grow. The growth in art is so palpable and measurable. That makes it rewarding for my students and myself as an artist educator.