Painting a Path

From graphic designer to art teacher, Mr Riesterer finds his passion

PAINTING A PATH: Mr. Riesterer teaches a class of junior high art students. However teaching wasn’t always his career path. Riesterer said, “I got a bachelors degree in graphic design […] I just wanted to be in art.”

Teaching wasn’t Mr. Riesterer’s first career choice, so how did he find himself as a new art teacher second semester last year? Although he now teaches 7th grade, 8th grade, and 2D art classes here in West Lafayette, Mr. Riesterer actually attended the University of St. Francis for a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. “I always knew I wanted to be in art somehow, so I ended up going to college for fine arts,” Reisterer says, “but it was too serious for me, so I decided to switch to graphic design because I’m a goofball.” 

His first job in graphic design after graduating ended up closing, leaving him “with bills to pay, so I started doing random odd jobs, which led me to Lafayette” he explains. Mr. Riesterer decided to get back into graphic design after a year, but he eventually realized that it really wasn’t what he wanted to do. “I decided graphic design wasn’t for me because I didn’t like the business side of it and it wasn’t creative enough. I like to express my creativity.”

Having been a camp counselor before college, he already knew he liked kids, so he decided to try out his first teaching job. “I’ve always had some part in kids, I was a camp counselor for a while and a camp director. I like hanging out with kids and teaching, so why not make that transition?” While attending the Purdue Transition to Teaching Program to get his teaching license, he did some student teaching and concluded that elementary teaching was not the route he wanted to go. “It’s like herding kittens,” he says. He started subbing here at West Side for a while before a job opening came half way through the 2019-2020 school year. 

When asked what he liked about teaching, he responded with “What don’t I like about it? There’s a lot of things that you can do, and you can see the different sides of things. Everyone has a different take on it, and the individuality of each person is something that is super important and can be shoved down at times. I try to bring it out in the students.” Mr. Riesterer is excited to continue this outlook and see what the year brings. 

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