Meeting Maria Ashkin: Kearns’ New Fine Arts Teacher


Alyssa Sainsbury

Maria Ashkin

Alyssa Sainsbury, Editor in Chief

The new school year 2021-2022 has welcomed many new staff members into Kearns High School, many of whom are teachers. One of these teachers is Maria Ashkin. Mx. Ashkin is Kearns’ new fine arts teacher; she teaches Photography 1 and 2 along with art foundations and 3D design.
Before coming to Kearns, Ashkin was getting her master’s degree at the University of Utah. She is originally from Santa Fe, where her family is currently. She lives with her partner Matt and her pet goldfish Ali Shaheed Muhammad, named after her favorite rapper.
Being a fine arts teacher, she has made goals to connect the community by the use of art. Mx. Ashkin states, “I’d like to do a community art project where we paint a mural or something similar as a group. I just feel that since COVID, the community has been so disconnected from one another. As we’ve started to approach normal, I want the community to connect again.”
As Ashkin comes into the Kearns community, she has a message to the students and community members, “I feel so blessed to be here. I feel like there aren’t many first-year teachers who have the opportunity to find this special of a place, I feel like I’ve won the lottery being here. I love the students, and the community. Everyone here is so kind and funny. I just want everyone to know there isn’t anywhere else I’d want to be.”
Her favorite food is breakfast burritos but specifically from her hometown, Santa Fe. She loves being outdoors, dancing, cooking, and started a new hobby of ceramics. Outdoors she participates in activities such as snowboarding, rock climbing, and swimming. Her love for the outdoors led her to teach children of all ages the importance of outdoor skills. She said that this decade-long job of teaching outdoor education made her realize her love for teaching. She initially wanted to be a hands-on scientist but changed paths when she realized her love for teaching.