Just finishing his master’s degree at Drake University, David Borzo has embarked on his second career — teaching elementary art. With the passion always tugging at his heart, he is finally in a career he loves.
“I try to get the students to communicate artistically and challenge them to have other people like it,” states the Des Moines native.
Borzo taught at Hillis Elementary last year and is going to Edmunds this fall. His class studies patterns, colors, forms and 3D design. They study impressionism and African masks, they draw using dots and pastels, and they paint portraits. All this in elementary.
Molding clay faces and answering questions about artists are the joy of teaching throughout the school year. However, for the past two months, Borzo taught summer school at Hillis Elementary, a whole new dimension to his teaching repertoire.
The first half of the day is academics — maintaining the kids’ reading level and solving math problems. The remainder of the day they care for the garden they planted in the spring, practice music and plays and even try their hand at Frisbee golf. They also get to study art at summer school.
The grant-funded summer school was in cooperation with AmeriCorps, which provided additional teachers. The focus was not all academic. The kids learned how to make healthy choices with food. They cooked ratatouille and pizza made with zucchini, red peppers and garlic, all from their garden by their playground.
Thursdays were reserved for slow-cooker creations. Various lunches and desserts were concocted and enjoyed.
“These kids are awesome,” he says. “It’s been a busy, fast-paced summer.”
Watching Borzo and his students return from a bowling outing, it was quite obvious that great fun was had by all during their days together. It gave all the teachers a chance to broaden their skills throughout the summer, and it gave the students an excellent chance at maintaining their reading level.
When not at school, Borzo writes a daily blog for an online social media company. His artistic ability has led to a few published illustrations.