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With arts cut in favor of standardized test scores across the country, one small town middle school teacher champions for more photography classes

In every school there is one teacher whose classes everyone wants to take. For 7th and 8th graders at Key Peninsula Middle School in Gig Harbor, WA, that teacher is Mike Hunziker, the photography teacher.

His classes have become so popular in fact there are often not enough spots for all the students. The class started as one black-and-white film class five years ago and has grown into five sections of digital photography this school year to up to eight sessions scheduled for the fall (with the addition of another teacher_—_Karen Sanom), meaning that almost 60% of the students will become budding photographers.

Hunziker, who has been an amateur photographer since childhood, has taught a variety of subjects in his 25-year career. He’s found however that though teaching photography, he is able to reach students in a way that not only transcends other more academic subjects, but that also improves students overall academic performance.
(Student photo above by Krista Kooker)

Click here to view a gallery of the students’ work.