You might have noticed a few new faces around the elementary school this year! One of our new Art Department members is Mrs. Galina Abele, the ES Fine Arts teacher. Take a moment to get to know her and make sure you give her a warm AHN welcome if you spot her around campus!
Where did you grow up?
I was born on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and grew up in Old Town/ Lincoln Park Chicago & La Grange, Illinois.
Where did you go to school?
I received a full scholarship to USF for Volleyball and earned a BA in Fine Arts. After that, I earned an Art Education Certification Degree from Georgia State and a Masters of Education in School Leadership and Administration from Touro College in New York City.
When did you first know you wanted to be a teacher?
Over the past 20 years I have taught in eight different schools and four different states. I worked in both private and public schools in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and Tampa. My father taught at The Art Institute of Chicago and my mother was a K-12 principal. I suppose it was in my DNA to combine both of their talents.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My hobbies included taking care of myself by going to the gym, doing pilates, swimming, doing yoga, gardening, cooking, painting, traveling, and being with my husband and daughter.
What style of art are you most interested in?
My painting style has changed dramatically over the years and especially since I had my daughter six years ago (frequent interruptions!). I am more open to the abstract brush stroke rather than minute details due to my time. I love to paint and love the feeling when something magical happens on the canvas. My website is gfadesigns.com.
Tell us about being a published author!
One of my proudest moments, other than meeting my husband and giving birth to our daughter, was publishing my first children’s book "Maurice’s Daughter, A Book of Healing." It is a story of my dad’s tragic death that I wrote and illustrated based on several dreams I had about heaven. I was fortunate enough to share it in all of the top bookstores, hospitals and hospices. My dad was killed in a car accident on October 16, 1995. Years later, my publisher called me and said “Barnes and Noble has booked you for your first book signing on October 16, 2010. Can you make it?” I sold the most books that day and no one knew the importance of that date besides my family…we were all sort of shocked but reassured he was still with us.
How has your time at Academy been so far?
I am very grateful for this position, actually humbled. I HAVE DREAMT FOR A TEACHING SPACE LIKE THIS. I have taught thousands of children over the past couple of decades and I am so impressed with the eagerness to learn, how polite every child has been to me, how kind the staff is to everyone they see, how positive the energy is in the building, and how passionate the teachers are ready to teach. There is a higher order of sophistication and leadership among the high school young ladies and I am so excited for these future strong women to make the changes we need in this school, city and country.