Henley Hornet: Art teacher leaving behind a 22-year legacy.
Carlos Becerra is retiring after 22 years as an art teacher at Henley High School in Klamath Falls.
He taught watercolors, painting, photography, graphic design, photography, and publication layout. He even designed the original Henley Hornet logo.
“It’s only the head and that’s exactly what that hornet looks like,” Becerra said. “The head part. So that’s the Henley Hornet for right now.”
Becerra said you can’t find the Henley Hornet head logo in any design store since he’s the one who created it. “It’s on the gym floor,” Becerra said. “It’s everywhere if you start looking around.”
But what’s one thing Becerra did not teach at Henley High School? Sculpture.
So what did he decide to leave behind? A metal sculpture of not just a hornet, but his Henley Hornet—body and all.
The Hornet now is displayed in the front parking entrance to the school. It’s made of metal that Becerra crafted, cut, shaped, and welded together. To match the farm equipment displays in the same area, he even added vinegar, peroxide, and salt to give it a rust look.
“I just want to make good for the school,” Becerra said. “That’s what I care about the most. The school, and especially the art department.”
If you wander around Henley High School, you can see paintings, drawings, publication displays, and other works of art made by Becerra’s students, or by Becerra himself.
“I’ve had tremendous, tremendous students,” Becerra said with a huge smile on his face. “Some of them have become art teachers.”
Becerra said he thinks art is equally important to other subjects like math, and English. “You know everything that’s around you that’s created by man has some sort of design principles,” Becerra said. “It’s really important.”
It took Carlos Becerra about six weeks to complete the sculpture even camping in his RV nearby to complete it. But years from now, it will remind Henley High School about a man and his 22-year passion to teach kids about art.