Ask someone about themselves and you will get a half-truth.
Ask someone about a close friend and you will find a whole truth with a great story tagging along.
McKinney Center art teacher Larke Foster began chuckling when asked to describe her coworker and close friend, Sharon Squibb. “Wakadoodle,” Foster said, laughing. “No, three words to describe Sharon…” Before Foster could give a description, she told of a road trip they recently took to D.C., the story contained more of the two laughing than anything else.
Squibb and Foster have been helping the McKinney Center grow since the beginning. They were two of the original committee members and began their summer camp program before the McKinney Center building was even in place. They first taught summer camp at the Methodist church annex.
“We’ve really been tied to this building from the beginning.” Said Foster. “We’ve been here fighting about where the sinks are gonna be, where to put things, and planning the curriculum.”
“We’ve had a lot of rich experiences.” Squibb said in return.
The two friends might be all laughs as they reminisce on the early McKinney Center days, road trip memories and their love for art education. But they began to dive deeper into their past experiences, seeping with passion and determination. Foster shared her story as an art teacher. “Watauga County hired me straight out of college- green as grass. I didn’t know what I was doing. Just big eyes, thinking I’m going to save the world.”
Foster and Squibb began laughing knowing what comes next. “One of my classes was seriously in a dungeon. They had a plank to go down to it, it’s where the boiler room was. The janitor put a little table down there for us and the kids would walk over this plank. I mean, to this day I can’t believe they actually had me teaching in that room.” Lark explains reminiscing on her past experience.
Foster continued with another tell of teaching art in the mountains of North Carolina. “It was a really really rural school. I walked in one day and asked about the budget. The principal said how about fifty bucks? Hahaha fifty bucks!” Foster laughed.
“I would steal supplies form Blowing rock and take them to the other school because they didn’t have anything. My truck was full of paper and paint, it was the only way you could do it- you know! Art teachers will take anything and make it into something.” At this point, Squibb is nodding in agreement and laughing along with Foster at this age old story for any art teacher.
Squibb began to flip though student pieces from her print making class and discussed what she loves about teaching beginners. “I’m giving them skills that sometimes they are surprised with. Anything I’m teaching can be done beyond the class room We give them a taste of what’s out there.”