My memories as a senior: Art teacher Paul Willson


Written by art teacher Paul Willson

I was a standard student…shot for a B- in all classes. Went to football games, reluctantly attended dances and a prom, half-heartedly “tried-out for sports” discovering I had no talent for ANY sports…participated on the yearbook staff, annually took the art classes, found them unchallenging but enjoyable…submitted artwork to district shows…received recognition. Was not discouraged from art. Maintained by interest in art into college and beyond (eventually acquiring a degree in art, establishing myself as a successful graphic designer and acquired an art teaching degree and began teaching here at Lynbrook 28 years ago! Now…my memories as a senior at Fremont High School; 1968.

Fremont High School was relatively unremarkable as a high school back then. High Schools, in general, were not kind places. Everyone was overly concerned with “fitting-in” and bullies were standard in the community. One might be “called-out” for a fight after school…”I’ll meet you at the bike rack!” was the threat! Fortunately, I was never in “a fight.” I managed to avoid such conflicts.

As you might imagine, Fremont High School was NOT a healthy environment for a kid who recognized himself as (what is now identified/understood to be) gay. At that time, I assumed that this was just an adolescent “phase”… it was not. I maintained a low profile but was not invisible, had a base-line of good and regular friends, was neither “one of the popular kids” nor a “nerd”…just a standard, unremarkable kid. High school was just something one withstood, endured…did. What choice did anyone have?

After graduation, I joined my friends at De Anza, then attended San Francisco State and eventually attended The Academy of Art and The Art Center in Pasadena.

Overall Summary:

High School did not harm me! Life began after high school.