Keith Yanity brings AP Art History to this school


Photo by Rae Weinstein

Keith Yanity lectures during his afternoon AP NSL class.

A student walks outside of the doors leading to the portables; they walk up the creaking wooden ramp and open the door to portable 2, as a warm rush of air blows out. Historical paintings are hanging everywhere on the walls, as well as students’ work hanging up.

Keith Yanity is a social studies teacher who teaches AP United States Government, United States history and AP Art History. Yanity was the one who brought the AP Art History course to this school. Yanity said being a teacher can be difficult, “Students are not the same,they don’t learn the same, they aren’t the same, and it’s very difficult when you’re working with over 100 individuals and not even reach all 100 of those individuals and I think I learned, you just do the best you can. You are not going to be 100% successful.”

Yanity’s favorite subject that he teaches is mainly history. “My love really is history. I just love the stories. I find it very interesting, just the stories. I do like the fact, that when I do teach government, I feel like it’s very relevant,” Yanity said. “My real favorite class, the one that intellectually stimulates me, is AP Art History. That was a class that wasn’t offered at Woottonfor years. I approached the art team and asked her if I could teach it. It’s something I literally built up from the ground, so it is like mine. I have a lot of ownership over it and I really enjoy it.”

Overcrowded classrooms have been a huge issue recently. “The more students you have, the less attention you can give them personally and that includes feedback and check-ins,” Yanity said.

In his small amount of free time, Yanity likes to hike. “I like to go to Shenandoah. I like to go to Frederick County,” Yanity said.
Yanity’s view on life has changed by becoming a teacher. “I grew up in an area that was more homogenous, so for me to have a ‘quote on quote’ diverse school meant that there was a significant population of African Americans and that was it. I didn’t realize what true diversity was until I moved to Montgomery County and started teaching here. It’s taught me how diverse and complex the world is,” Yanity said.

Yanity is liked by the students here. Freshman Charlotte Hoffman said, “Mr. Yanity is a very thoughtful teacher and cares about his students’ learning.”

Freshman Alek Bargman agrees and said, “I think he’s laid back, which is nice. When he’s enthusiastic the whole class gets engaged and pays attention. He tries to slip in good jokes.”

Balancing his job with his home life is difficult, Yanity said. “There are always, particularly towards the end of the quarter, this is where I fall behind on grading because there are some times during the school day when I do have time for grading, but the majority of grading has to be done at home,” Yanity said.