My Painting in progress

My name is Kimberly Bartel and I teach Art 1,2,3,4, and AP Art at Leigh High School. Additionally, I am the advisor for NAHS (National Art Honors Society), where we use the Arts to serve our school and outside community.  I am also the VA Department Chair and the Head Varsity/JV Diving Coach. This year marks my 14th year teaching here at Leigh and my 19th year overall.

I started my college career at De Anza College, focusing on the Arts and competing collegiately with the Dive Team. I received my BFA in Spatial Arts with a minor in Photography from San Jose State. I earned my Masters in Language Literacy and Development from the Counseling and Psychology Department at Santa Clara University.

Away from school I love spending time with my family, especially traveling abroad and taking long road trips exploring new areas. I also love reading anything that pertains to History and human nature, or my guilt pleasure, a good Stephen King book. I spend a lot of time working on my craft; photographing and painting, looking for new ways to make the ordinary look extraordinary.

I am an alumni of Leigh High School, graduating in 1989. I had the privilege and honor of being taught by two exceptional art teachers here at Leigh, who challenged me daily, and taught me to strive to always bring my best. They shared their belief in the value that the arts have in developing ones creative, imaginative, abstractive, and observational skills; that artists have so much to offer as innovative thinkers. 

My passion has been to maintain the integrity of Leigh’s Art program that I experienced, by developing those same skills, challenging my students the same way that I was, and helping them realize that they are capable of far more than they ever believed possible. I encourage my students to embrace failure, because it is through their failures that they will see their greatest growth potential. I want my students to see that their genius doesn’t lie in a letter grade, but rather in their taking what they learned in the classroom and invoking it into real life application. It is so inspiring when a student recognizes what the arts have to offer them; a place to have original ideas that have value, putting their imagination to work with something new, to come up with new solutions to problems, and a platform to share their voice.

I love what Mr. Keating in “Dead Poet’s Society” shares with his students; “That you are here, that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” As my students move forward in life, may they pursue what they are most passionate about, find ways to be innovative thinkers, and always remember that they have a “verse to contribute.” May they turn their ordinariness into something extraordinary!