Gualke departs to create documentary

Crystal Baik

Video arts teacher Cheri Gaulke will retire after over 30 years of teaching at the school. Gaulke plans to further her passion for film and dedicate most of her time to different projects, she said.

“I will be making art full time, which I am so excited about,” Gaulke said. “I will be working on a feature documentary called ‘Acting Like Women: Performance Art and the Woman’s Building.’ This chronicles a period in my life that coincided with a radical art movement.”

In addition to teaching, Gaulke has co-founded numerous programs during her time at the school. Gaulke co-piloted the Summer Film Program and the Righteous Conversations Project, a program that aims to bring students and Holocaust survivors together in order to spread their story.

Her desire to teach students and expose them to varying countries’ lifestyles inspired her to co-create the HWGo! Digital Storytelling Program.

“I’ve watched [Harvard-Westlake] students catch catfish in a mud trough in Vietnam, eat fried tarantula in Cambodia, interview survivors of the genocide in Rwanda and make lifelong friends,” Gaulke said.

Having come out at the school as lesbian in the early ’90s, Gaulke also started Project 10, the confidential support group for LGBTQ students on campus, and the affinity group Gender-Sexuality Alliance.

Gaulke said that she feels so lucky to have taught at the school surrounded by administration that has always been so supportive of her ideas.

“My students have always been so smart, creative and motivated,” Gaulke said. “At Harvard-Westlake, I have been able to grow as an artist, educator and person.”