Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Homestead High School's student newspaper

The Epitaph

Capturing students’ attention, connecting through art

Edmond Kwong shares experience as digital art teacher

Edmond Kwong, who single-handedly leads the photography and multimedia department, said he did not start his career path as a teacher.

Digital art teacher Edmond Kwong said he prioritizes connecting with students through sharing personal stories. (Photo by Danielle Feldsher)

Before coming to HHS, he worked at multiple high-tech companies for 17 years, Kwong said. Even after 20 years of teaching, Kwong said it is critical to keep every lesson novel and organic, something he learned from a professor while getting his teaching credential.

“His main recommendation for the students in his program was, to quote him, ‘Don’t be a teacher of 30 years, instead, teach for 30 years. Rather, teach like it’s your first year 30 times,’” Kwong said.

While photography is normally part art and part science, the scientific part has become more prominent due to phones and advanced cameras, Kwong said.

“As a photography teacher, I want to stress that sometimes no matter how good or expensive the equipment is, you could still take a bad picture,” Kwong said. 

Kwong said his creativity is not limited to the world of digital art. Instead, he said he uses his experience and passion in theater to enhance the livelihood of the class. This in turn creates a unique and interesting classroom dynamic that is memorable to students, Kwong added.

“As a teacher in the classroom, every day is showtime. I have developed the best improv skills to be a teacher because every day is a little different,” Kwong said.

His former student, Kavya Krishnan, said every class started with Kwong asking questions about life, and then inserting his own stories and experiences into the conversation.

“It was enriching and interesting, and I really wish I could hear [his stories] again,” Krishnan, a sophomore, said.

While student, sophomore Ruhi Shahane enjoys multiple aspects of the class, she said Kwong’s teaching style is a highlight.

“He [encourages] everyone to talk and share their opinions,” Shahane said. “He’s very calm and makes sure that the topics we learn are relevant to today.”

Kwong said that seeing impeccable work made by his students, some even entering and winning contests, is just one of the reasons that multimedia and photography are exciting for him to teach.

“They get the same enjoyment and the same gratification that I get out of it and that’s what kind of drives me in enjoying teaching multimedia design and photography,” Kwong said.

Ultimately, Kwong says that what he teaches in media arts is incredibly valuable in the grand scheme of education. 

“We make it seem like we’re trying to make Homestead such a STEM school, a technology school, but we’re ignoring the art part,” Kwong said.

As a teacher who works with art daily, Kwong said art is an imperative tool for people to expand themselves and see things from a new perspective. It is an important part of being able to problem solve and with that, it needs to be prioritized at school as much as other subjects, Kwong added.

“Math and engineering are absolute: you have a variable, you have a constant, you have an equation, you plug it in, things happen,” Kwong said. “A lot of students struggle with thinking in the abstract, and that’s what art will give you.”

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About the Contributor
Danielle Feldsher
Danielle Feldsher, Reporter
Sophomore Danielle Feldsher is excited for her first year on The Epitaph. Outside of journalism, she is a counselor for Israeli Scouts and plays on the girl's volleyball team. In her free time, Danielle enjoys drawing, hanging out with friends and playing with her dog.

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