Visual Arts teacher wins award

Lara Mikhail

Visual arts teacher Joe Medina received the Kogan Family Award for Innovation in Teaching from Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts at the opening faculty meeting on August 25.

Medina has been working as the primary photography teacher at the Middle School and is beginning to teach at the Upper School starting this year.

Established in 2010 by Betsy and Mark Kogan (Ben ’11, Eli ’13), the award is given to a teacher who uses original approaches to improving the teaching process.

For the past three years, Medina has initiated multiple photography projects throughout the Los Angeles area. Projects such as “In/Other Los Angeles,” “Sense of Place” and ‘#WhereAmI’ strive to connect a community of students through their photography. His projects have been recognized by major photography blogs such as the Los Angeles Times Lens Blog and the New York Times Lens Blog.

Joining the upper school visual arts team, Medina is coming to teach two classes of Darkroom Photography while continuing to teach photography at the Middle School.

“I am really looking forward to collaborating and working with Upper School Visual Arts Faculty and students. I am also looking forward to following the progression of visual arts students making the transition from the middle to upper school,” Medina said.

Medina will be starting every day at the upper school and by 5th period will be teaching classes at the middle school.

“A change in environment throughout the day will be nice as well .I don’t really see any challenges [by teaching at the Upper School and Middle School] other than the commute,” Medina said.