Kaylin Li

Art teacher Haviland Hage poses in her classroom during lunch. Behind her, the whiteboard is covered in artwork and notes for her class.

Hage frames her goals for Lynbrook Art

Following the retirement of long-time art teacher Paul Willson, new art teacher Haviland Hage is ready to draw from her unique life experiences and make her mark on Lynbrook’s art program. 

Before teaching at Lynbrook, Hage lived abroad and worked in Paris as an Au Pair, a stay-at-home nanny. A year later, she moved to Los Angeles where she tutored children in her spare time and reconnected with her passion: teaching. Not long after, Hage began teaching at Christopher High School, where she was finally able to fulfill her dream of becoming an art teacher. 

“I knew since the sixth grade that I wanted to be an art teacher,” Hage said. “I loved my own art teacher and wanted to be like her. She was such an inspiration to me. I thought she was so cool when I was younger.”

In all her years of teaching, Hage has never seen a campus quite like Lynbrook. She was immediately impressed by her students’ innate desire to learn and improve themselves. Hage has occasionally taught uninterested students at past jobs and is excited to teach a group of passionate, driven individuals. 

“Coming into Lynbrook, it’s like a breath of fresh air,” Hage said. “I’ve come from very challenging schools, and it’s a different climate there altogether.”

During her time at Christopher High School, Hage learned to prioritize student development. She continues to focus on improvement at Lynbrook and does everything she can to push her students’ artistic boundaries. However, Lynbrook’s competitive environment occasionally makes this difficult. To counter this, Hage uses her infectious enthusiasm to keep the class engaged and motivated. 

“I think that if I’m very passionate and excited about something, my students vibe off that energy and get excited about it as well,” Hage said. “I can sit here and talk in a monotone voice about the most exciting thing but nobody will want to learn about it.”

Hage teaches Art 1, a class where both new and returning artists explore a variety of art mediums, including graphite, scratchboard and watercolor. In order to accommodate the wide range of artistic experience in the classroom, Hage implemented a curriculum that not only challenges experienced students but also creates a welcoming environment for beginners. Hage’s deliberate, open-ended assignments allow students to decide how far they want to push themselves artistically. 

“This year, I’m looking forward to being able to refine and develop a curriculum for Lynbrook students,” Hage said. “They’re in this part of their lives where they’re starting to create their own identities, and I feel like I can help the kids find themselves through the creative process.”

Due to her early successes in the classroom, Hage remains optimistic about the future. She looks forward to getting to know her students better and stepping into her role as the adviser of Public Art Club. Most importantly, though, Hage is excited to see her students grow as people and flourish as artists as the school year continues.

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    Matt HarlineSep 28, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Thanks for the nice article about your new art teacher. It reminds me of my time at Lynbrook from 1971 through 1975 when I took art classes for four years from Bonnie Bedford-White. While I have been an engineer in my career, now that I am retired I consider myself an artist. Bonnie inspired me to stretch and become a better artist. She still does.

    You have a wonderful new art teacher. She will inspire her students to bring the world to life through art.

    Matt Harline
    Lynbrook class of 1975