Painting a Picture of the New GB Teachers

This school year, there have been a total of 14 new teachers and staff throughout our Granite Bay High School campus. For the first part of this series, the spotlight will be on introducing new music and art teachers.
courtesy of Granite Bay High School
courtesy of Granite Bay High School
Morgan Bettencourt
Morgan Bettencourt

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

“My name is Morgan Bettencourt and I got my teaching credential, May 2023. This is my first year teaching. I enjoy snowboarding, art and horseback riding. My favorite color is blue, and both my parents were teachers. They taught little kids.”




Why did you decide to work at Granite Bay High School?

“I decided to work here because I wanted to be an art teacher. I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was little. I saw that (the) Roseville district was hiring art teachers, and it was perfect. Granite Bay was special to me. My cousins went here. So, I’ve been on campus before back in the day when I was very small.”

In high school, did you take any art classes?

“I took Art 1, Art 2, Art 3 and then I took AP art in high school, and then (took more art classes) in college. I was going to get a business degree, but then I was still taking art classes. I decided to stop with the business degree and just get an art degree instead. Then, all of my classes were art classes.”

What are some inspirations to your art?

“I really like Wayne Thiebaud, Gregory Kondos and all of the Renaissance painters. All of the old art history is all very relevant to me. So I try to show that in my paintings, a little bit of realism (and) abstract, but I just like to have fun with the colors. I don’t like to use black paint or white paint a lot.” 

What do you like most about teaching yearbook?

“I like the designs and the photography because when I was student teaching, I taught graphic design, and design and art are the same thing. I really enjoy it, and photography is fun.”

If people are interested in taking Art 1 or yearbook, what would you like to recommend?

“I would recommend for yearbook, (to make) sure that you’re motivated with work and school activities, have fun, and to take each class seriously. Sometimes, people join art, and they think of it more as an elective, and they don’t take it as seriously, but I think art is a really important skill to have. If you take it seriously, then you’ll be good at it.”

Sarah Lam
Sarah Lam

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

“My name is Sarah Lam, and I’ve been teaching for 15 years. I work both as a teacher, but I also paint professionally to sort of show my work and compete.”

How long have you been doing art for, and what was your favorite memory of it?

“Ever since I was a kid, age three and up, (I liked) painting things that I really felt passionate about.Growing up, I loved horses, so I drew a lot of horses. Even when I was supposed to be studying or doing something else like note taking, I would draw horses in the margins of my paper. Later, it was practicing eyes and doing facial features, and I just liked sketching.”

What are some inspirations for your art?

“I like to look at a lot of artists’ work, so I like Master Artwork(s) from the past, but lately, I really like contemporary art. So present day, I like to go to galleries and museums. I like to look through magazines that are new to see what other people are doing with their art, because it’s an interesting time.”

You said earlier that you painted professionally. What galleries have you been in?

“There’s a gallery in downtown Davis that I show my work at, and then there’s a gallery in Carmel.”

When you were in high school, did you take art or AP art classes?

“I didn’t take AP Art in high school. It wasn’t offered at my school the year I was a senior. I (took) art freshman year, junior and senior year.”

In your free time, what do you like to do? Any hobbies?

“Besides painting, I like to ride horses. I have two horses, one’s name is Winnie and the other is named Kieran. One is an older horse and the other one is two years old, so he’s not ready to be ridden yet. He’s a baby.”

Is there anything else you would like people to know about you?

“Just that I love all animals, and I really like working with teenagers. I like that age group. I think they’re fun. I have my own two kids at home. One’s a teenager and the other is 11, but I really like that age group.”

Bailey Pierce
Bailey Pierce

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

“My full name is Bailey Pierce. Everybody calls me Mr. Pierce. I’m the guitar and piano teacher here. I also will co-teach the jazz band in the spring semester. I’m mainly a jazz pianist, but I played guitar for about 15 years. This is my first year at Granite Bay High School, and I’m really happy about being here.”

How long have you been doing music for?

“I’ve been doing music since the fourth grade. I first joined the fourth grade band class, and I was a trombone player. Then, I broke my collarbone skateboarding, so I didn’t get to finish the year in band. But right after I was better, I started playing guitar and taking guitar lessons. I started on electric guitar.”

Were there any favorite bands or songs that you enjoyed when you were in high school?

“When I first started high school, I was really into heavy metal. As time went on, my music taste sort of lightened-a little bit less heavy. I started listening to bands like Dave Matthews Band. (It) was a really big band for me in high school. The Counting Crows was another band that I really liked in high school. I got into the Grateful Dead while I was in high school. I still love them a lot.”

Any genres of music you like the most?

“I’m pretty across the board, I just love all kinds of music. I try to listen to as many different genres as I can. The ones that I performed the most and listen to are like folk music or indie music. That’s sort of the guitar side of what I do, and then the piano side is more jazz and jazz fusion kind of music.”

Why did you decide to teach music?

“I decided to teach because I had a really good experience taking music lessons in school. I didn’t do music in school for a long time until my senior year of high school when I joined the choir, (since) I had my fourth grade (injury). (…) I also had a Japanese teacher in high school, who was a violinist. He was a big influence as well. We would hang out at lunch, and we would just kind of play music together.  I played guitar while he would play violin (for) all four years of high school, and I just was really appreciative of him helping me and just being there for me. So, I wanted to sort of give back in the same way that music education had given me so much.”

In your free time, other than music, what do you like to do?

“Music takes up a lot of my time. I’m sort of music obsessed. But other than that, I like to play video games and (watch) TV when I get the chance. I also like spending time outside going on hikes, walks and traveling (to) different places.”

Is there anything else that you would like other people to know about you?

“(I want) other people to know that, even if they’re not in any of my classes, but they’re interested about music, stop by the classroom. I’m happy to talk to them about it or (I) can help them out.”

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About the Contributor
Emily Lau
Emily Lau, Assistant Editor
Emily is a sophomore and Assistant Features Editor. This is her second year on the Gazette Staff.

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