Working with her students on literature during the school year and taking groups of kids on overseas educational tours during breaks, middle school English teacher Desiree Schell will leave behind a memorable legacy at Pine View. According to Schell, starting next academic year, she plans to take a one-year leave and retire from teaching. Along with writing and publishing children’s stories, Schell will be using her time to organize her late father’s artwork.
She said, “I do so many things, you know? That’s why I’m leaving — because I’m being pulled from so many important directions, not just directions but important directions. I’ve got family and writing, my future career, getting my dad’s artwork acknowledged… It’s his 50-year career that we are now cataloguing and making it a collection — we’re creating that collection from his life’s work.”
Schell’s late father, Roy Schell, worked with artist Robin Mazey throughout his career. Their works are under the label “Mazey & Schell.”
“They did all kinds of crazy characters,” Schell said. “They cut them out of wood, hung them from the ceiling. They did puzzles; they did posters; they did furniture and architecture… You know what’s interesting? American actor Henry Winkler has a huge collection of my dad’s artwork. Barbara Walters interviewed Henry Winkler; what was hanging in the background? My dad’s artwork.”
Continuing her creative ventures after retirement from teaching, Schell’s illustrator for her children’s books just so happens to be Mazey, who worked with her late father — Mazey’s work can be seen down below, accompanying the poem titled “Theater of the Gods.” Schell said, “Remember, the illustrator…I grew up with him. So I didn’t even have to describe the scene to him because he was there with us.”
Here are three children’s poems written by Desiree Schell: