Trinity Spirit

← ​Coffee & Chat with Val Lewis, Visual Arts teacher Years 1-5 and Velocitas teacher for Years 4 & 5

  • What do you do in your role? I am the Visual Art specialist teacher in the Junior school and consider myself extremely fortunate to be sharing my passion for the Arts with young children. I am also privileged to be working with the Velocitas students for extension in the areas of English and Maths.
  • What are your areas of specialisation? My particular area of specialisation is printmaking but as a Visual Arts teacher in the early years I provide students with a wide variety of experiences that develop and build on their creativity.
  • What was your first job? I have only ever worked in primary education. My first teaching position was as a Visual Arts teacher at Botany and Daceyville primary schools in Sydney.
  • How long have you worked? I started teaching in 1979 and have worked continuously apart from the two years leave when my daughters were born.
  • What’s the most rewarding part of your job? I work alongside teachers and leaders who are committed to the care and education of young people. The strong sense of community that surrounds Trinity and the opportunities it provides for both staff and students makes it a very special place to work. I consider myself very blessed to be given the opportunity to share my skills and knowledge through the Visual Arts program.
  • What is your educational background? I trained at Northern Rivers College of Advanced Education in Lismore, graduating with a Diploma in Education Primary I also completed an Associate Diploma in The Performing and Expressive Arts at The University of NSW. I worked for several years as a Drama facilitator in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney after completing a course at The University of New England. This role enabled me to work alongside general classroom teachers and support them in implementing drama into their programs.
  • What specialised skills, knowledge and/or talents do you use in your work? Fortunately I am able to utilise my creative skills across a wide range of learning experiences and provide opportunities for students to build their knowledge and understanding creatively.
  • What are your interests/hobbies outside of work? I spend many hours drawing or pursuing ways to develop my skills further. Last year I spent 15 days in Greece undertaking a printmaking workshop and I challenged myself to try etching at a workshop with a master printmaker, Basil Hall in Armidale. My goal for this year is to develop my watercolour painting skills. It is proving to be quite challenging but most enjoyable. Apart from my many creative pursuits, I enjoy trekking, reading, stand-up paddle boarding, gardening and musical theatre.
  • Where were you born? I was born in Grafton, NSW.
  • What is your favourite colour? Fuchsia
  • What is your favourite song? Fire and Rain –James Taylor. I saw him perform live at a concert in Brisbane with my other favourite singer, Carol King.
  • What is your favourite cuisine? Seafood followed closely by any kind of vegetable.
  • If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what would you say we achieved at Trinity? I believe our greatest achievement is our commitment towards life long learning and excellence.
  • When have you been most satisfied in your life? Now, I have the dream job of sharing my passion for the Arts every day.
  • Who is your role model, and why? My dad. He considered education to be of the greatest importance and worked hard to enable us to follow our dreams. He was a talented craftsman who built the most amazing things for us as children. I had the most spectacular doll’s houses, always complete with furniture he had lovingly crafted. My brothers were the envy of the neighbourhood because of their model train set –up, complete with tunnels, bridges, railway stations etc. It truly was a work of art.
  • What do you like to do in your down time? I love to explore the environment and have undertaken some amazing treks with my husband and family. Completing the Milford track and swimming with seals (NZ), climbing through lava tunnels (Hawaii) and getting up close with orang-utans (Borneo), have been a few of my notable experiences.
  • What is your favourite family pastime? Just spending time together, especially at Christmas when the extended family come together.
  • How did you meet your husband, the love of your life?I met my husband in my second year at teachers college. I was first attracted to his laugh and still love the way it fills a room. After a lengthy engagement (9 years) we finally married. This year we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. It has been a life of laughter and adventure.
  • What do you do to keep busy? I am always busy doing something but I have challenged myself to get back into pilates.
  • What things do you not like to do? Sitting out in the sun for hours on end, as my husband surfs. I am much happier under a tree drawing.
  • Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your life? Completing the Milford Track in New Zealand was one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life.
  • Tell us about a time when things didn’t go to plan. Things generally don’t run according to plan, but for me that’s what makes life exciting.
  • What do you think is the next big thing in ICT? I would have to ask my husband or daughter, they are the techno whizzes.
  • Tell us more about yourself; what else can you share with us? I love to sing and will break out into song whenever I can. My most memorable occasion was my Mama Mia moment in Greece. I stood on the steps leading to the tiny chapel at the top of the hill, my scarf billowing in the wind (just like Meryl Streep) singing at the top of my lungs. A group of tourists watching ran back to their bus and grabbed their scarves and joined me on the steps.

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