Michelle Patino puts the “create” in creative

Behind the Whiteboard


Hannah Rodriguez, The Freelancer

Michelle Patino teaches art at La Serna.

Hannah Rodriguez, Fiction Editor

Most students who have had Michelle Patino as their art teacher know her as a colorful, patient, and extremely talented human being. The classes that she teaches are Art 1-3, AP Art History, and Studio Art. She pours her time, determination, and love for both her students and their artwork into each one of her classes.

The Freelancer asked her a series of questions in order to find out what makes her the inspiring mentor that she is.

Describe yourself in high school.

“I was kind to everyone. I really wanted to make sure I was nice to everybody; that was important to me. I was very ambitious academically, especially junior and senior year. I was determined to get straight As. I was athletic. I was on the volleyball team. My freshman, sophomore, and junior years I was captain. I was always respectful to my teachers and if I saw somebody sitting by themselves I’d go talk to them. I was very concerned for my fellow classmates when I was in high school. I liked to make people laugh!”

What is your craziest memory as a teacher?

“When I taught English, on the first day of school, I was teaching sophomore English, we did an icebreaker where students talked about themselves, and this particular student had a full-on rap about himself that he totally made up … on the spot, and it sounded like a professional song, and he ended up being president of his class.”

What is the most rewarding part of teaching?

“I think the most rewarding part of teaching would be seeing students really come into their own, especially when teaching art, really being able to master a technique or an assignment and seeing how proud they are of themselves and what they’ve accomplished, like they’ve literally created something magical on their canvas or drawing paper, and after I taught them a few things, they were able to make it something great.”

If you could go back in time to any part of history, where would you go?

“This is so hard, considering I teach Art History! I want to go back in time and see everything! Well, we are just covering Ancient Rome; I think it would be so cool to walk through the streets of Rome and see the Coliseum, the temples, and whatnot, because everything is in ruins today.”

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

“Right now, on my bucket list, I’d love to go to Greece for sure. I’d love to see Mykonos. Why? Because I love that period in art history, too, and then I was also told Mykonos is a beautiful island of Greece; I’ve never been there.”

Describe yourself in one word.


If you could have any superpower, would it be?

“To fly! I’ve always wanted to be able to fly… or go back in time! Can I fly, and go back in time?”