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    Get to know Ryan Koning

    If you’ve ever seen a teacher walking around with the coolest shag haircut, wispy bangs, and the brightest smile, you know you’ve just bumped into East art teacher Ryan Koning.
    Jaitreana White
    Ryan Koning with her self-portrait she created in college.

    Some reasons why Koning thinks that it is important for students to take an art class is because it helps students embrace their creativity.
    “I think students should take an art class because art teaches a lot of skills that will help you later on in life, like for example a lot of what we do in art class teaches a lot of critical thinking because you’re given kind of an open-ended prompt, and there’s a bunch of different ways you could go about solving it so I think art helps you think about things creatively from different perspectives. I also think art is a good way to express yourself because I wasn’t very confident in speaking when I was in high school but I was confident in my art so I could express myself that way besides just through talking,” Koning said.
    Koning was not sure what she wanted to do in college so decided to take an art class, that art class was the start to her career that she loves so much.
    “I actually started college not knowing what I wanted to do at all but I knew I loved art and so I thought ‘oh you know what I’ll just take an art class for fun’ not thinking that I really had a career in it but it ended up being something that at wanted to do all the time and eventually I got a work study job teaching art to kids and I really enjoyed that so, always making art and teaching it to other people that was something I really wanted to do,” Koning said.
    One of Koning’s first assignments in college was painting a self-portrait which sounds easy right? Well, the twist is it had to be painted looking at a mirror and not a photo.
    “I think it was my second painting class I had learned the basics of painting but I’ve never tried to paint a portrait before, especially a self-portrait so, my professor started the class by handing us a mirror and said paint 20 self-portraits not from a picture, but from a mirror,” Koning said.
    If you’ve ever gone into Koning’s art room you are always welcomed with the colorful and calming atmosphere
    Speaking of classrooms, Koning’s room is right next to her coworkers Mrs. Moore. Here’s some things Moore has to say about Koning.
    “The first time I met Mrs. Koning was when she came to East for an interview. I was immediately impressed with her and loved her personality! Mrs. Koning is always positive and encouraging. She also has a great sense of humor – I love that about her!,” More said.

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