Bakersfield special education student makes history as AP art student
“I never thought I’d be able to do it. I honestly that I would never be able to do an AP class.”- Mickaela Valenti, ACSA Region 11, Stockdale High School “During my childhood, I had a hard time reading and writing and speaking,” Mickaela said. “I thought it was normal. ‘She’s probably just stupid.’ I was told that a lot.” Mickaela’s parents worked with her every night to improve her skills. They enrolled her in special education classes and brought in Stockdale High special education teacher Mickey Padilla to help during the summer. But the bright spot came through her love of art. Mickaela honed her craft through countless hours of painting, drawing, and sculpting. She’s known for her two-dimensional characters that consists of cutting out thousands of tiny pieces to create one beautiful work of art. “Patience is like the number 1 thing I have to have in doing this,” Mickaela said. “Since it’s very time consuming, one piece can take about a month while others can take about a couple of weeks. It all depends on what you’re willing to work on.” Her hard work paid off when Mickaela became the first special education student in the history of Stockdale High to take an advanced placement course: AP Art. The young woman who was once frequently called “stupid” is now making history.