Reflecting on their time at DB

Gee and Horton will be leaving at the end of the semester.

Saying goodbye to the art scene at Diamond Bar High School for a new one closer to home, AP art teacher Coleen Gee will be leaving her job at the end of the semester. Also leaving the Brahma staff is Assistant to the Principal Nancy Horton, who will be retiring in December.

After moving to Carlsbad, in northern San Diego County, Gee has decided to find work closer to home to shorten her long commute.

“As much as I love my kids here and as much as I love being a part of the Brahma family, the drive and everything is just too much for me, so I’m not able to continue any longer,” she said.

She has taught art for  22 years at DBHS, and although her ultimate goal since graduating high school had been teaching, she endured many bumps along the way. She had originally planned to major in education at Whittier College but transferred to UCLA and received a degree in design.

Gee worked as a graphic and interior designer, later designing boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. After having kids, she took a break from designing and switched her career path once again to teaching.

“Watching my kids learn to be artists and assisting them with choosing colleges or art schools to go to, helping them choose a career path, keeping communication with them after graduation and finding out how successful they are, that for me is pure joy,” she said.

She has taught a wide range of classes, including AP Art and Design, Fundamentals of Art, IB Visual Art, Introduction to 3D design and AP Art History. Gee was also a class adviser for two different classes.

While teaching at DBHS, she taught and learned new aspects of teaching like how to differentiate teaching strategies to help each student succeed.  Gee said she will miss the Brahma family and being

able to interact with her colleagues and students every single day.

“I will really miss working with the students,” she said. “That’s the main thing: is to watch kids enjoy what they’re learning and assisting them to be successful and realize that they need time and work.”

Although her time teaching at DBHS has come to an end, that doesn’t necessarily mean she has completely retired from the profession. She plans on possibly becoming a tutor for students in AP Art History or AP Art and Design or possibly even working in an art gallery.

“A message I would like to leave my students with is always have a positive attitude and never ever give up,” Gee said.

Horton, who has been working at DBHS for 23 years, has been responsible for helping students and parents who come into the office and scheduling appointments for the principal. She also assists teachers with scheduling substitutes when they are absent. Horton has been involved in nearly every aspect of DBHS, from planning for activities before school begins to graduation night, while serving Principals Catherine Real and Reuben Jones.

Some of Horton’s fondest memories from working at DBHS include getting to know the students who are office aids, seeing their accomplishments and watching them graduate. After retirement, Horton plans to spend more time with her family, travel and attend to her garden.

“I will miss the camaraderie with the staff and the students, I think that Diamond Bar is a great place to be and we’re very fortunate because we have a really good team of people that work well together,” Horton said.