Former Middle School Art Teacher Becomes Library Assistant


Jadyn Arzola

Former middle school art teacher Misti Harrell works in the library Mondays and Tuesdays.

Jadyn Arzola, Reporter

After summer break, students make their way into the library for the first time in months. As they turn the silver door handle, many feel shocked when seeing that they are not the only one’s starting something new. A comforting appearance, that has offered moral support countless times and taught them numerous valuable life lessons including how to correctly shade with a pencil, greets them behind the circulation desk.

Misti Harrell began working as a part-time library assistant at the high school, after resigning from her position as an art teacher at the middle school.

“Working in the library is a completely different role than working as an art teacher,” Harrell said. “However, I am enjoying the new position so far. Since I was not ready to fully retire from teaching, I thought this would be a great opportunity and allow me the time I needed to take care of family obligations and still get to be at school involved with the students in some capacity.”

Harrell worked as a substitute teacher from 1991-1992. The following year, she became the middle school art teacher and remained in that position for over 30 years. 

“In middle school, her class was always the one I was most comfortable in, mainly because of her,” sophomore Shelby Dewald said. “Now that she’s here, she brought a piece of that with her. Being around her is extremely comforting, she’s just that kind of person.”

“One of the most rewarding things about teaching is seeing how students develop and mature over the years and hearing about students’ successes.

— Library assistant Misti Harrell

Harrell works in the library on Mondays and Tuesdays.

“I am always happy to see her in the library,” freshman Sumiko Lemari said.

Harrell loves to “catch up” with students she taught in middle school.

“Each student that I taught throughout the years holds a different set of memories,” she said. “All of those students and memories definitely made a huge impact on my life, and I consider myself very blessed to have had such an opportunity for so long. One of the most rewarding things about teaching is seeing how students develop and mature over the years and hearing about students’ successes.”

Students still carry lessons learned from her.

“She’s always been happy and nice to her students, even if something had happened to her,” Dewald said. “She’s influenced me to not be rude and unhappy around my friends just when something happens to me because it isn’t their fault.”

Library assistant Sarah Cimino describes working with her as “great”.

“I’m very happy she decided to come work with us,” Cimino said. “She seems to have very positive interactions with students.”

Harrell plans to work in the library for as long as possible.

“I think everyone should give her time to adjust because she’s trying something brand new just like we are,” senior library aide Elaina Caruthers said.