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Davis Journal

NHS ceramics teacher passionate about his craft

May 30, 2023 11:41AM ● By Becky Ginos

Northridge High School art teacher Kyle Guymon works with his class. Guymon was recently named the Art Educator of the Year. Photo courtesy of Guymon

LAYTON—When Kyle Guymon was a student at Layton High he took all of the ceramic classes he could. Now he’s teaching ceramics at Northridge High and instilling his love and passion for the craft to students there. 

Guymon has won numerous awards but most recently was named Art Educator of the Year by the Utah Arts Education Association (UAEA) and has been nominated for a national award.

“After high school I was working construction to pay for college,” he said. “I realized I didn’t want to do that so I went back to college. I started throwing pots, bought my own wheel and got into art festivals and gallery shows.”

Guymon said he started student teaching at Northridge. “I fell in love with the school and the kids. They hired me. It was a perfect storm to get a job right out of college.”

The Northridge AP program is the largest in the district, he said. “My students have been in statewide and national shows. The kids make my job easier. They are talented and have the drive and passion to make whatever they want to make.”

Across three shows they’ve won 18 awards and seven scholarships, said Guymon. “All together they’ve won $280,000. They’re really talented kids – they make me look good.”

Guymon teaches beginning, intermediate and Advanced AP classes and printmaking. “It’s linocut so they can make things like their own T-shirts and design them. It’s an opportunity for students to have another creative outlet to make art outside of drawing, painting or ceramics.”

The AP program has had a lot of success over the years, he said. “Beginning students see pots they (AP students) have made and the shows they’ve made it into and get to watch the AP students work.”

They can help the other students and give them pointers, said Guymon. “It’s a great way for beginning students to see it’s possible to create this type of ceramics in high school.”

Guymon said when he sees a beginning student who has a lot of talent he pushes it forward as fast as he can. “I want them to know that they do have talent. They need to know the possibilities in it and that they can push forward and create beautiful art for their family and friends.”

Guymon said he doesn’t lecture too much. “I let the kids work in groups with friends. During studio time we have music playing and make it a fun, safe environment so they can let go of the stresses of life. It gives them the chance to create and be without some of those other stresses.”

It gets kids off their phones, he said. “When you have clay on your hands you can’t look at your phone. They can disconnect instead of staring at screens. When kids take a lump of clay and create something they never thought they could – it’s magic. Everyone should do art. It’s the best.” λ