The Ranch Review

Mr. Harman Retiring

Marisa Contreras, Staff Reporter

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Here at the ranch as the year comes to an end, we say goodbye to one of the first art teachers Donnie Harman. He is finally ready to retire after teaching multiple subjects for over 32 years in the Sweetwater district. With majoring in English at UCSD with a minor in Visual arts, Harman set his mind on becoming a professional writer, but it took a while to publish his first book. With his visual arts minor he not only became a teacher but a landscape painter who hopes to have a solo gallery show some day.  

Having an elementary school teacher for a mom did definitely have an influence on Harman. But teachers when he was in high school made a strong impression on him. Adrian Fernandez who taught Graphic Arts and Joseph Dibos who taught 11th grade English. Still being in contact with Dibos, he was thrilled to get a copy of Harman’s novel and know that he was an inspirational person in his career.  

Harman taught all grades of English and started the Televideo program in the first half of his career at Hilltop High School. He came to Otay Ranch when it opened in 2003 as part of the original staff and started the art program here. He shares with us that it was the highlight of his career to help open ORHS and he will always be deeply grateful to Jose Brosz for that once in a teacher’s lifetime opportunity.  

We asked the artist what he would do different if he could start all over again, a different college was the answer. UCSD is a great school for math and science the art and literature programs were not what he was expecting.  

“[His hopes for students are that] they find a meaningful path that takes them where they want to go. Life is a long journey, full of challenges and setbacks, but hopefully they are rewarded for their efforts and experience a feeling of satisfaction as they move forward,” said Harman  

At the same time, he is looking forward to spending more time on writing, painting and traveling with his wife who just retired last June after 33 years as an elementary school teacher and who also encouraged him to get his teaching credential. He is very fortunate to have spent the past three decades at two great schools, where he encountered countless wonderful staff and students.

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Mr. Harman Retiring