Culver City High School

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Fien, Pennie » About Ms. Fien

About Ms. Fien

Pennie Fien was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA.  She went to undergraduate school there, receiving a BFA in Painting from Tyler College of Art, the art school at Temple University. 

One winter day, while standing knee deep in snow and waiting 2 hours for the bus home from school, she made a vow to herself that she would not spend another winter in "Philly."  So, in quest of adventure and a place where she could feel her feet, she moved to San Francisco.  She had always wanted to live in California, and that it was far from Philadelphia made it even more appealing.  After a few years of decent weather, she decided to brave the cold again and try to conquer the Big Apple.  She returned to the east coast where she attended the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and earned an MFA in Theatrical Design.  Her education has also included studies at San Francisco Art Academy, Parsons School of Design in NYC, CSUN and Santa Monica College.

Ms. Fien has had a diverse background in the arts.  After graduation from undergrad, she worked in the fields of advertising, illustration and arts administration.  She then had a successful career in the entertainment industry, creating costumes and illustrations for theatre, film, TV, opera and dance.  After several years in this field, she became interested in education.  Going back to her original passions of fine art painting and drawing, she decided to become a teacher.  Her first position was as a traveling art teacher at Castlebay Lane elementary school in Northridge.  The young students there treated her like a rock star and she was hooked.  Moving on to high school, she taught Drawing/Painting, Design and AP Studio Art at Banning HS (LAUSD) in Wilmington for 6 years.  In 2006 she was happy to join the Culver City HS staff. Although no longer treated like a rock star by her students, she still enjoys them and finds teaching personally gratifying in other ways.  In 2008 Ms. Fien became the Yearbook Advisor. She enjoys this position because it gives her the opportunity to help create a memorable record of the year that can be enjoyed and valued by students for the rest of their lives.

Ms. Fien's favorite things are movies, creating multi-media art, collecting Japanese art, her cats and her partner, Andrew (not in that order!).  Traveling is a passion and they have been all over Canada and the US, Tahiti, most of western Europe, Scandinavia, and some of southern and eastern Europe as well. Her favorite places are Kyoto, Japan and the medieval town of Talin in Estonia. She is a strong believer in life long learning, enjoying reading and taking classes to learn new things.