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Oh, Snap…There’s a New Photography Teacher

Posted 10/30/2015 by Jalyssa Vigil

A snapshot of one of Forrester’s photo classes. photo by Anja Oss

New CCT teacher brings a new focus to TJ.

Heading into the 2015-2016 school year, a new teacher was needed in the CCT program as longtime TJ teacher Jeff Coleman made the decision to retire. The school was looking for someone who is experienced in technology, particularly photography, and works well with students. When veteran DPS teacher Will Forrester surfaced as a potential candidate, Principal Suzanne Morris-Sherer knew he was the right fit for the job.

Forrester is a Colorado native who grew up in Woodland Park, Colorado. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his master’s degree in Education at Regis University. He has been teaching for 11 years, four years at Garden Place Academy and three years as a guest teacher; prior to coming to TJ, Forrester taught at Hamilton Middle School for four years. Before starting the film and photography program at Hamilton, Forrester taught French and Spanish classes for three years. When the opportunity was presented to him to come to TJ he knew he couldn’t pass it up. “I just really enjoy teaching high school students and I think TJ has a great reputation so I wanted to work at a school that’s a great school,” he explained. Along with many new faces in his class, this year Forrester has recognized students that he taught back at Hamilton. Junior Olivia Fullerton said, “This year has been really different than the previous ones, he’s done some new things and so far I enjoy his class.”

Even though the transition from a foreign language teacher to photography teacher was tough, Forrester’s passion for the subject helped make it a bit smoother. “I’ve always enjoyed making movies and photographing things and I’m just really interested in the way light works with photography,” he explained. He is very excited to work here at TJ and everything the school has to offer. “My favorite thing about TJ so far is the collaboration that I’m able to do with the staff and also just overall the school is run very well,” said Forrester.

In addition to being the photography teacher, Forrester is the head of the yearbook club, which meets every Monday in room 110 during lunch to create and edit the yearbook. Forrester has a lot on his plate this year including trying to inspire his students. “I really would like my students to become lifelong learners and just enjoy the process of learning about whatever it is they are passionate about,” said Forrester.

Forrester also has many hobbies, including playing the guitar, the piano, and making movies. As a young boy he dreamed of being in a band because there wasn’t much to do where he lived. Forrester figured the best instrument to try and learn was guitar so he chose to pick it up and in the process learned to love it. When it comes to music Forrester has learned to play many songs on guitar and piano. He said, “Over the years, I’ve learned many songs, but I prefer to write my own songs.” Forrester has made over 30 short films and one feature film. The  feature film he created, The Eternal City, even won a best picture award in a film festival. Overall Forrester works with many different genres when it comes to filmmaking. “I’ve worked in several genres, from documentary to animation,” he stated. To him, filmmaking is a way to express what he is feeling or simply do what he is passionate about. When coming to a new film idea, Forrester believes that this is the way for him to do something that he is truly passionate about. “I like movie making because it allows me to combine all of the art forms that I enjoy, from photography to music to storytelling,” he described.

Many people are excited for Forrester to begin a new chapter as a Spartan. His passion for technology and teaching are a perfect fit for the CCT Magnet. Forrester is not only a great addition to the program, but to TJ in general; hopefully his passion will inspire Spartans for many years to come.