Staff Spotlight: Sidona Malz

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Job title:  Art Specialist at Jefferson Elementary

Classes you teach: K-5 Art

Previous work experience: I previously taught two years in the Mankato District teaching K-12 Art.

Years with the district: This is my seventh year teaching in Faribault. 

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three sons on our hobby farm. I also love painting, gardening and traveling.

What’s something interesting about you that not a lot of people know

I have illustrated three books for Minnesota author Gordon Fredrickson.  

Why did you decide to pursue a career in education? 

While growing up, our high school had an elementary wing in our building. My senior year I volunteered to help my art teacher with her elementary classes during my study hall and I quickly discovered it was one of the favorite parts of my day. Seeing elementary students' excitement for learning new things and having a job that allows me to share one of my favorite hobbies with others has made me feel very fortunate to have found a career I truly enjoy.

What do you enjoy most about working with students?

I think the unique thing about being a specialist in an elementary building is that you really get to see your students change throughout the six years you are their teacher. It is really neat to be able to watch their personality, interests, and talents grow.    

Share a fun project you've worked on or innovative teaching method you've used this year. What made it memorable for you?

Every year we make treehouse sculptures in fifth grade. The students appreciate the creative freedom of this project. There are lots of complex steps, critical thinking, and reflection that go into designing and building their sculpture. It is always fun to see the new ideas students have and see how invested they can get into a project.  

What do you enjoy about being part of Faribault Public Schools?

I think our district and teachers are continually working towards offering great opportunities within and outside of the school day for students. Lately, I am enjoying teaching our after school Art Club through our Community School.

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