Faculty Spotlight: Ms. Liz Taft

Allie Smail, Contributing Writer

Ms. Taft has been a part of the Pingree community for more than 40 years. She started as a student, then worked her way up to being a faculty member. Ms. Taft’s classroom is always filled with hard workers with smiles on their faces and the smell of fresh glaze ready to be painted on the newly made pots. Ms. Taft encourages all of her students to push themselves and never give up. She knows how hard it is to center clay on the wheel but doesn’t let anyone stop until they figure it out. She believes in everyone. The first time I stepped into her ceramics class I had made up my mind that I wasn’t good at visual arts. It took two trimesters and lots of love from Ms. Taft to help me change my mind. Now my art is displayed in the gallery and I’m excited to have the whole school see it. Ms. Taft helped to teach me that my art is good and is worth being proud of. She taught me and all of my classmates that you don’t have to consider yourself an artist when you first step through the door, but even once the first class is done you are worth the title. Ms. Taft teaches all of her students lessons far deeper than just crafting a perfect cylinder. 

When I asked Ms. Taft how she feels to be leaving she said, “It feels strange and sad to be leaving this teaching life and I love being with students every day but I am happy to now have more time with my grandchildren, and time to do my own artwork (my daughter and I have a business making and selling lettuce bowls).” She talked about how strange it is to think about her journey at Pingree starting as a student, and then becoming a teacher when she was only twenty-two. She always mentions that when she started teaching she learned so much from her students saying, “My first classes were fun–I was so young and felt I was  learning with them.” 

Ms. Taft grew into a teacher, wife, and mother surrounded by the Pingree walls. She shares stories about her meeting her husband Buddy Taft, who also works at Pingree. She also loves to talk about her daughter growing up running around the hallway, reminiscing over the time she watched her daughter take her first steps in the gym. As Ms. Taft’s family grew, so did her Pingree family. She has left a mark on all of her students and peers, always quietly spreading love, kindness, and wisdom to all. 

As Ms. Taft enjoys her last few days as a Pingree teacher, it is clear that her mark will always be left on the school. With lots of hugs and her promise of visiting all the time, we wave Ms. Taft goodbye and wish her the best of luck on her journeys to come. Ms. Taft’s final words to future students are, “Keep taking art classes!! Keep being the wonderful teenagers that you are. Thank you for taking Ceramics!” Goodbye Ms.Taft! You will never be a stranger but you will always be missed! Best of luck with everything you do!