Mr. Munguia’s 40th Anniversary

Leo Ontiveros, Writer

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Mr. Munguia has been with Cistercian Preparatory School for 40 years, and this year will be his 40th year of teaching here. He teaches the First and Third former’s art class, and if you decide to keep going with the art program throughout high school, he’ll be the one to welcome you with open arms and guides you on your colorful quest. His classes do a wonderful job introducing students to the art program, and his Art club is a great way to keep going strong with your interests.

Mr. Munguia found Cistercian by “providence,” he says.  While exhibiting some of his recent work at the University of Dallas, he was approached by a colleague who told him about Cistercian, which had an opening for an art teacher. The colleague knew that Munguia was the perfect fit. His colleague was correct and Mr. Munguia fit in like a puzzle piece. He’s been teaching and painting for Cistercian ever since.

The moments that Mr. Munguia cherishes the most is those where he gets the knew students, and continue to learn about the students who keep participating in art during high school. He has also enjoyed the creation of the art room, which was built due to the fact that he wanted a room dedicated entirely to art. Now it serves as a great environment for himself and his students. Indeed, anyone with an interest in art at this school can create whatever they like there. The best part of being an art teacher, he says, is getting to work with different students, each in their own stage of development. He is very proud of the encaustic class that he has taught yearly at Cistercian since 1989, in which students can use hot wax to create beautiful works of art, having fun and bettering themselves at the same time.  Cistercian was one of the first schools to do this, and Mr. Munguia has helped other schools to further their art programs as well. He is also well known for the music he plays during art class, including all sorts of songs from interpretive to captivating to anything that catches his interest. He’s willing to say that he is really picky about his music and that it’s not random (although his highschool students might be willing to dispute that claim). Nevertheless, he says the music is handpicked for his artistic work. “I want something to ride with the process that we’re working with, not against.” Mostly, he chooses instrumental bands (Boards of Canada and Brian Eno) that hope to inspire the minds of those who create.

A good day of school for Mr. Munguia means that the kids are awake and excited, participating in class, and ready to ask questions and to challenge themselves:

“Fearless students, it means you gotta have courage and risk failure. Failure is not the end, things will get better if you learn from your mistakes.”

We thank you Mr. Haaser and Mr. Munguia for all the time you have given us. Many of us can truly say that we have been inspired by your passion for these subjects, and your geniality to your students.

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