Building snapshots of new, well-traveled photography teacher Afua Kyeremeh


Photo by Maya Halpern

Afua Kyeremeh said she enjoys her new job as a photography and ceramics teacher and hopes to share her stories growing up in London with her students.

A set of double doors open to a classroom full of students. To the right is a sign that reads ‘DARKROOM IN USE’. To the left is a camera-filled cabinet decorated with colorful posters. Straight ahead is a large promethean board. And to the right of the board is a desk. Sitting at the desk is a teacher. She sports a paint-stained apron and a smile on her face.

That teacher is Afua Kyeremeh, the new photography and ceramics teacher. She’s been teaching for a total of six years but this is her first year at this school. So far she’s settled in nicely. “I was on the panel that hired her, we knew that she would be an incredible addition to our arts department,” senior class administrator Stephanie Labbe said.

Kyeremeh lives in the base of Frederick, which means commuting to school can sometimes be a hassle. In the worst of traffic it can take up to an hour to get from home to school. But she still enjoys being with her students despite the long commute. “The kids are really respectful, I have a good group of kids.” Kyeremeh said.

One of her students, senior Adam Lee, said that Kyeremeh is a nice teacher and easy grader. “She is popular with her students,” Lee said.

Kyeremeh was born and raised in Great Britain. Her life in London and the school setting are much different from America’s. “Most [UK] schools are religion based, they are public schools but require uniforms. They have more hands-on learning,” Kyeremeh said.

There are yearly lottery draws to win a trip to Wales as part of the school’s agricultural education. Kyeremeh loves to travel. When she came to America it wasn’t the first time she moved. “I was born in North London, that’s more city style, I lived in a flat. Then I moved to south London, which is more suburban.” Kyeremeh said.

All of her travels were initiated by her mother who moved from Ghana to Great Britain when she was 16. “She moved around Europe a lot.” Kyeremeh said.

After her parent’s divorce, her mom decided she wanted to move to America. Kyeremeh joined her mom but wasn’t too sure about the move. She was 14 and finishing eighth grade. Moving to a different country would bring a lot of change. “My family split in half. Half stayed in Great Britain and half of us moved to America, “ Kyeremeh said.

Even after moving to the U.S., her mom kept traveling. She would always give Kyeremeh the choice of going with her or staying with her aunts. She spent a lot of time in her teenage years with her extended family, which is why she values them so much. “I love spending time with my family, we are very close,” Kyeremeh said.