Michigan teacher Meredith Giltner took an unconventional route to become an inspiring and beloved teacher at Skyline High School in Ann Arbor. Giltner started out as an honors pre-med student at Wayne State University before teaching herself to paint and attending Chicago’s School of the Art Institute. From there, she moved to the University of Michigan and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in cultural anthropology and photography.
Meredith did not become a teacher until she was in her mid 30’s. Her retail background purchasing ethnic arts kept her abreast of the arts, and she wanted to become more involved in her community. Giltner thought that becoming an art teacher would be rewarding. She finds this to be true—sharing her passion with her students and inspiring them.
Giltner continues to hone her skills in teaching, photography, and graphic arts. She is working to get a master’s degree from U Michigan at Flint in educational technology. In addition, she is studying to get a Career and Technology Endorsement for Photography and Graphic Design from Eastern Michigan University.
Obtaining this endorsement will enable her students to get college credit. As if teaching and studying at two universities is not enough, Giltner opened up her own graphic arts business—Ikat Studio. She must be a working professional to get her endorsement. On top of all of this, Meredith juggles family life with a son, a husband, three cats, a snail, and 13 fish.
She finds her students to be “amazing and incredibly talented.” Giltner learns from them, too. They help her decide which technologies to use or keep in her curriculum and which ones to explore. She strives to make her students’ education meaningful and rewarding and finds it “humbling to reflect on the learning process.” Giltner is clearly deserving of the accolade of being the Ann Arbor Public School District’s “Exceptional Teacher” of the month.