A Sad Goodbye to Ms. Barzottini

A Sad Goodbye to Ms. Barzottini

Emma Lubinger, Staff Writer

Ms. Barzottini, our beloved art teacher, a friend to all, and the driving force behind the murals, is leaving Pinole Valley High School as of October 26th. She’s moving to Dallas, Texas, with her family because her husband accepted a job there. 

Ms. B has been teaching art and ceramics at Pinole Valley High for six years and the story of how she got to be here is actually rather interesting.

Back when Ms. B was interviewing for a place at Pinole, she only wanted the art class. But apparently, the art and ceramics class went hand-in-hand, and by chance, Ms. B had taken a ceramics program a while back, so she got the job.

When asked how she got into teaching, Ms. B replied that she always enjoyed subbing at her daughter’s school and leading the class. At the time, Ms. B was an interior designer but was beginning to fall out of love with the job because it “Is just your ego,” and “It’s so much better to see everyone else succeed.”

Eventually, she realized she wanted to pursue a career as a teacher and she ended up at Pinole. Interestingly enough, Ms. B and Mr. Kleiman both had the same favorite thing about Pinole Valley High. They both thought it had, “A wonderful sense of community and diversity.” Both of them said it was something special and something other schools “just didn’t have.” We may be small, but we be mighty!

Once at Pinole, she began to make great strides. One such stride being the murals we see every day when we walk through campus. They have brought a wonderful sense of life to our temporary little home, and the idea behind them is actually pretty interesting.

Not only does Ms. B teach art, but she also bought and sold 20th-century masterworks when she was an interior designer. At a staff meeting one day, everyone was talking about how boring the campus was, and Ms. B proposed the idea of having her students recreate the paintings she used to buy. It started with “blocky and bright pieces from the 60’s because it was easy to paint,’ but then Ms. B realized she had, “Serious talent,” to tap into and her students began painting much more complex pieces such as ‘Frida Kahlo’.

Pretty soon the murals became landmarks, giving students a way to clarify their position on campus to their friends at lunch or after school.

I asked Ms. B if she was going to continue teaching after she left Pinole and she said if she was, it was going to take awhile. She said that what she’d found here was “Too good,” and that she “Can’t repeat this.” I think I speak for everyone when I say that her time here was a gift and we will all miss her dearly.

Thank you for teaching us, inspiring us, and for laughing with us. No matter what you do next, Ms. B, you have the support of the Spartans.