In 1970, a very shy, self conscience girl signed up for a beginning art class her sophmore year at Westside. It is still a mystery why she signed up for the class because she hadn’t ever thought of herself as artistic or creative, even though she’d spent hour upon hour drawing and creating in her room when she was growing up.

Well, the first day of that art class, the art teacher, a young Diane Murphy looked at the girl’s drawing and simply said, “Lisa, you are very talented.” Those words changed my life.

At that moment, I knew my teacher believed in me—and the seed was planted. It has taken a long, winding path for the seed she planted to flourish, but more than 45 years later, I look at my life and I’m in awe of the abundance of creative opportunities that have blessed me.

In a wonderful twist of fate, five years ago I reconnected with Diane Murphy and we have become good friends. She mentors me and cheers me on—and I am honored to be part of her life. Today she had an art show with another former Westside art teacher, Ken Heimbuck, I was excited to be there to cheer her on, and as I always do—to tell her thank you.