Painting, ceramics and drawing teacher Marla Seibold retires after 33 years


At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, painting, ceramics and drawing teacher Marla Seibold will be retiring but will continue to look back fondly at her 32 years of teaching at ETHS. When asked about how ETHS has changed over the course of 33 years, Seibold cited the changes that her classes have undergone as technology and digital art became more popular and accessible.

“The biggest thing is the whole influx of technology and using technology to make art,” Seibold explained. “I remember our very first graphic design class, and now we have digital photography, graphic design, [and] they’re talking about doing a digital painting class.” 

Additionally, Seibold fondly recalls the first year ETHS hosted the annual Empty Bowl fundraiser, an event in which students and staff can purchase ceramic bowls and soup made by members of the ETHS community, with all proceeds going towards local soup kitchens. 

“One of my favorite memories was the very first Empty Bowl. My student started it for her Senior Studies project, and it was a hot mess. We were cooking soup in crock pots, and we didn’t realize how big and popular it was going to be. It really launched a huge mission,” Seibold explained. 

Upon retiring, Seibold will miss many aspects of the ETHS community, including her students and friends. She will also miss how physically active she is when she is surrounded by others. 

“I think I’m going to miss being as active as I am here. I never sit down at work. I’m constantly moving around, so I know that the activity part of this is something I’m going to miss,” Seibold explained. “Obviously, [there] are the students, because that’s why I love this job. I [also] have some really great friends here that I’ve made here over the years that I still keep in touch with.”

To other members of the Fine Arts Department, Seibold will be missed. In their minds, she has offered students support, knowledge and kindness for many years. 

“Mrs. Seibold has had a tremendous impact on so many students throughout her tenure at ETHS,” Fine Arts Department Chair Nicholas Gehl said. “She is an incredible person and art educator and has taught so many students to use art as a way to share their ideas and amplify their voices.”

In the future, Seibold looks forward to working on her own art, as well as spending time focusing on her health. 

“First, I’m going to work on my own personal health—yoga, running,” Seibold said. “And I’m going to work on my own art practice, work on my painting, and then go back and dive into ceramics.”

Editor’s Note: In the original publication of this article, including in its print edition, the Evanstonian incorrectly stated that Mrs. Seibold had been teaching 32 years rather than 33 years. The Evanstonian regrets the error.