Weber replaces Gesin as new animation teacher


Catherine Escueta

Animation teacher Ryan Weber consults senior Julianna Belas of Monmouth Beach. Weber arrived in the spring semester to substitute for art teacher Laura Fallon, who is on maternity leave.

Sarah Lynch

Ryan Weber, an art teacher at CHS, is teaching another elective class this year: animation. For the past eight years, technology teacher Laura Gesin taught the course because course’s previous teacher quit two weeks before the start of the school year in 2008.

“It’s an artistic discipline and was originally taught by art teachers at CHS, not me,” Gesin said. “It was never intended to be a technology course, so really, it’s returned to it’s rightful place in the CHS curriculum. Mr. Weber is much more qualified to teach this course than I will ever be.”

This course combines Weber’s affinity for both storytelling and artistry, who said he received his Master’s degree in Visual Narrative at the School of Visual Arts (SVA).

“My actual background is in more traditional book arts and comics and illustration. But during the program [at SVA] I was exposed to animation and all that stuff,” Weber said.

Weber said his goal is to introduce and familiarize his students with the five different types of animation, but the time element involved in animation is a challenge.

“If you’re doing claymation, to really make a good, solid five-minute movie takes a really long time to take all of those images,” Weber said. “So I’m really trying to scale back the scope of the projects, time-wise, and really mess around with doing something experimental, even a short video that could be posted on Instagram.”

Weber hopes this overview of animation will give his students the basic tools they will need if they choose to explore animation in the future. But regardless of each student’s aspirations in the field of animation, Weber says his students are enthusiastic about the class.

“I think everyone’s excited. I showed some examples and they really seemed to get into it,” Weber said. “Everyone gets really excited when we hit the Disney part. But I think it’s great to see them connecting to the earlier side of animation as well and seeing how it’s changed so much, and how laborious it was to pull together an animation in that time.”

Senior Annie Diaz of Howell has had a positive impression of Weber.

“He’s a new teacher, so I didn’t know what to expect, but so far he’s really nice and fun and I’m really looking forward to his class,” Diaz said. “Also, he likes Stranger Things, so that’s a good sign.”