By Isaiah Sotelo
We lost our fair share of teachers at the end of the last school year—many to retirements and transfers. These vacancies had to be filled, and so Pueblo High School has many new teachers for the 2020-21 school year.
One of these new educators is Ms. Sibel Duzenli, who is teaching beginning and advanced art.
“I am so excited to be at Pueblo,” she said. “I already think Pueblo is an amazing school, and all of the teachers I have met are kind and hard-working people.”
Duzenli has not always been an art teacher. In fact, she began her teaching career at a summer camp math class teaching elementary school students in her native British Columbia, Canada. She then moved to Tucson to pursue her master’s degree in Art and Visual Culture Education.
“I got tired of the rainy weather in B.C.,” she said, “and combined with the fact that my husband is from Tucson, we made the decision to come to Arizona.”
After moving to Southern Arizona, Duzenli taught at an alternative program in TUSD. Afterwards, she started teaching art for middle school students. Then, she made the transition to high school students at Pueblo.
“I always loved school, and I respected my teachers for their hard work,” she said.
Duzenli said that her teachers were excellent role models, and she was inspired by their professionalism.
“Art was always my favorite subject, and if the world did not have art, our planet would be a sadder, less joyful place,” she said. “I really believe that art helps students express themselves and to learn more about themselves—and others.” She paused and added, “I want to help students with that self-learning process.”
Duzenli said, “I think art is an incredible way for humans to express themselves, and I want to be a part of making that possible [for students].”
“I felt pretty sad in the beginning of the year knowing I wasn’t going to meet students in person,” said Duzenli. “But I am still really excited to be here at Pueblo.”
She thinks that students should remember that high school is an opportunity to grow, meet new people and make mistakes.
“We’re living through a very significant time in history,” Duzenli said, “and we’re learning so much as a culture and as human beings. I know online instruction isn’t going to last forever, and I can’t wait to share the same space as my students.”
She added, “Even though it’s a very overwhelming time, it’s very heartening to know that we’re all going through this strange time together,” she added. “So even though we feel disconnected sometimes, I often feel more connected because we’re in this history—together.”