Influencer of the Week: Kiersten Bertsch, Oakland Avenue Charter School

The Observer School Zone recognizes OACS health and art teacher Kiersten Bertsch.

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Kiersten Bertsch is a former student at Oakland Avenue Charter School, and now she is teaching health and art at her alma mater. She has had a lifelong love of reading and education and is happy to be working alongside her former instructors.


What brought you to your school?

 I used to attend OACS actually! I just really loved it as a kid and have good memories here!


What do you love most about your school?

The staff. They’re all so very kind and supportive! Even though things are tough right now, they make it a little bit easier.


Why did you want to teach at OACS? 

As I said, I am an alumni of the school as are my sisters, so that certainly influenced my decision! I also knew a fair amount of the staff already, and it seemed like it would be a great place to work!


What is your motivation?

In general? I set goals for myself that I want to work toward, and I think about them every morning and night. It may sound strange, but I tend to think of the future as me already being there and looking back on where I am now. Although, if we’re talking about my motivation for work it’s definitely seeing and interacting with all the precious kiddos! Sometimes they say just the sweetest things, and it melts my heart!


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Honestly, every time a kid in the hallway greets me enthusiastically or tells me how much they love art, it fills me with so much joy! I love to hear them get excited for my class, and sometimes they show me other drawings they’ve done and I love to see them!


What do you like to do in your spare time?

I draw a lot and work on digital art, but I also play video game, write and read often.


Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school? Why?

That’s a tricky one. If we’re talking at OACS I have two: Mr. Patrick, the art teacher when I was there, and Mr. Black, my third-grade teacher. Mr. Patrick was always just really nice and supportive, and I really loved art class. He inspired me to keep working on my art!


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I honestly always wanted to be a teacher. I remember writing that down for an assignment in first grade! I just really liked school back then and loved all of my teachers, so they inspired me.


What is your favorite children’s book and why?

This one might be cheating, since it’s a book with several stories in it, but it’s called “The Children’s Book of Home and Family.” I still have it and read it every now and then because the stories, while short, are very interesting. They always had good morals and were typically based off of legends. They weren’t written like a typical children’s book, so my family would have to read them to me, but they were short enough that they kept my attention.


What are your hobbies?

Making art is my main hobby, as I do it all the time. I find it very relaxing, but I’m also into gaming. That usually inspires me to make more art or write a story!


If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

That is a very tough one! Probably the ability to shape shift. I think it would be so cool because then I could turn into anything I wanted, even giving myself wings so I could fly! It’s like having two super powers in one!


If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, what would they be and why?

Ooh that’s tricky! Probably Skillet, Fall Out boy, and For King and Country. I have seen them all in concert and absolutely adored them; Skillet and For King and Country were in the same concert, and it was my favorite show ever! I also just genuinely enjoy their music, they all have a good balance of fun pump-up music and calming, good-feeling music.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.