Our Stories

Panda Profile – Lili Whitaker

April 9, 2024 by Elizabeth Zitelli (Faculty and Staff)

What do you teach? 


Why do you teach? 

I teach because it combines two things that I love: kids and art. However, every day that I teach, my students give me new reasons to love what I do. Their creativity inspires me! I love the idea that I can create the art class that I would have loved as a child.

What do you love about MILTON? 

Not a day goes by that I don’t get at least ten hugs! It is a place where I am not only welcomed, but made to feel loved. I have the resources to plan wonderful art projects for our artists, and the support to also give a lot of free choice in the art room. The result is a wonderful creative feedback loop — where I show our young artists a technique or a project idea, then they take it and make it their own, thereby giving me new ideas and inspiration to leap into the next idea.
There is an abundance of enthusiasm and joy in art class!

Your teaching style in three words? 

Learner-centered, Fun, Creative!

If you were an animal which animal would you be? Why? 

Probably a cat, which is ironic, because I am allergic to them. I’ve never even owned a cat. But when I see a funny video of one pushing a plant off a table cause they can, well… I can’t help but relate. I am also prone to playfulness and napping.

Favorite Food – Spaghetti. And all of its known associates, like garlic bread.
Favorite Team – I don’t follow sports, but I have heard of it.
Favorite BookWuthering Heights
Favorite MovieThe Lord of the Rings Extended Edition.
Favorite Place to Travel – Paris has been one of my all-time favorites so far!


Favorite moment at MILTON?

It’s so cool that there are many moments to choose from! One of the best has to be seeing students dress up as me for Dress Like A Teacher Day – complete with an Art Teacher Apron!

What else should we know?

I have a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. My hope in earning my degree was that I could learn not only how to conduct therapy, but also how to be a therapeutic presence. The skills I learned have been applied in my time at MILTON in many different ways, but especially over this past year. With so much unpredictability in the world and in the daily lives of our students, I have made sure that art class can be a reliable place for students to have the autonomy to follow their creative endeavors.
Also, I know how to ballroom dance.