Art Instructor: Susan Haskell

1x week, Grades Kinder - 2nd

Susan employs directional drawing instruction as well as painting and mixed media. The upper grades focus on the masters only, while the lower grades focus on the masters plus nature.

Susan is a glass artist and painter born and raised in Los Angeles. She studied at UCLA where she received a B.A. in Pictorial Arts and a M.A. in Design. She also earned teaching credentials from Pepperdine University and is currently a teaching assistant at Santa Monica College in the Glass Blowing Department.

Susan’s love of glass led her to explore a variety of creative methods including, glass-blowing, torch working and fusing. Her paintings have included large scale outdoor murals (Los Liones Canyon) and a twenty-year series of photo-realistic paintings of tunnels (The Tunnel Vision Series).

Susan’s greatest pleasure has come from over twenty years of teaching elementary school art to children at Canyon Charter Elementary School in Santa Monica Canyon.

Art Instructor: Michele Baldonado

Every other week, Grades 3rd - 5th


Michele currently works in a wide variety of schools across the Los Angeles Unified School District. Her curriculum  teaches children to conceive, execute and defend their own creative ideas. Classes include focus on creative problem-solving and craftsmanship. Students often practice visual thinking in pairs, teams and in whole class activities while developing a love of the history and a love the practice of Art.

Raised in the college town of Claremont, California, Michele attended an award winning public high school and had the Art departments of the six Claremont colleges as her childhood stomping ground. It was in this environment  that she learned techniques in drawing, painting, printmaking, jewelry and ceramics.

She continued her studies at The University of Vermont and Bennington College receiving a BA in Art from Bennington. Michele earned her Masters degree, Four Elementary Credentials, and one Secondary Teaching Credential, a Bilingual Certification  and an Administrative Credential while teaching.

She worked in textile design at the Pacific Design Center before  beginning her beloved career in teaching. Her work has given her the opportunity to collaborate with artists and arts venues across the globe. She has traveled to Washington DC, Mexico and China as an arts ambassador with fellow teachers. She has journeyed widely to research art methods and educational practices.

Her current work is a conceptual piece that would include her precious students. Each student deserving his or her own pedestal. This room would glow with the bright, golden light that is the divine energy Michele receives from the hearts and minds of her students.

Michele is delighted to be back at Canyon as a teacher having thoroughly enjoyed the school as a parent. Her older daughter is an Art major at UCLA. The younger daughter is studying business at Pace university in NYC.