G.S. Lakie teacher one of chamber of commerce's Top 40 Under 40

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

If there is an art-related event happening in Lethbridge, there is a solid chance Deana Dypolt is involved in some way.

Dypolt, a full time math teacher at G.S. Lakie Middle School, girls’ basketball coach and owner and operator of ArtBeat Lethbridge, has been named to the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and BDO’s Top 40 Under 40, due in part to her involvement in the arts community.

The Lakie teacher was surprised to learn she had been named to the prestigious list.

“I was so excited, then I kept getting message after message congratulating me,” she said of the moments after she learned about the honour.

Math and the arts are certainly two of Dypolt’s passions, as the middle school teacher, who originally studied Fashion Design at Lethbridge College, is also a painter.

“I just love design in general,” she said.

That love of all things artistic led her to create ArtBeat Lethbridge, a non-profit organization which aides and assists Lethbridge’s art community.

“Being an artist, I always found it was difficult to hang and sell your work in Lethbridge,” she said, and explained ArtBeat exists as platform to allow local artists to showcase and sell their work. “It’s for artists who might be in university or who are not full-time artists – people who are not going to have an art opening at the SAAG, for example.”

ArtBeat also hosts private and public paint nights, where proceeds go to support local arts shows. The evenings often include local DJs, musicians, food and drink, as a way to bring all of the city’s art disciplines together.

Dypolt also participates in the Lethbridge Art Walk, and her home has been included in the SAAG House Tours and Tea. Her art can also be seen in several businesses in and around Lethbridge and Calgary.

With a university major in Art and a minor in Math, Dypolt added her education not only assists her art, but also allows her to give her Lakie students some different opportunities.

“I think having that math background really helps with my art, in terms of scale, proportion and linear views,” said Dypolt, who also taught high school Art for four years before she moved on to Lakie. “I love teaching Math each and every day.”

She also teaches Fashion Design and Sketch Book option classes at Lakie, which means Dypolt interacts with a large number of students on a daily basis.

“In a given day, I probably see around 180 different students,” she said, as Dypolt teaches four different Math classes. “You have so many different personalities, learning styles and learning capabilities. It challenges me as a teacher and makes me a better teacher.”

Dypolt added Lakie is full of dedicated and talented teachers, as she mentioned the District’s westside middle school is home to a number of staff members who could have just as easily landed on the city’s Top 40 Under 40 list.

“It’s an incredible honour and I’m humbled and speechless.”

Date posted: Dec. 1, 2017