Doris Walenta, center, with her Ben’s Bell; nominator Grace Young, next to Walenta in floral shirt; and pottery students.

Photo by Jeannette Maré

The recipient of this week’s Ben’s Bell is pottery teacher Doris Walenta.

She was nominated by student Grace Young, who wrote that Walenta “exudes kindness and caring along with great humor.”

Walenta teaches pottery at the Tucson Parks and Recreation Randolph Center.

“She is the perfect teacher and inspiration for me,” Young wrote. “When I retired I wanted to do something creative with my hands, but had a fear of something new. Doris took me under her wing, as she does with all her students no matter what their ability, encouraging openness in our work, which carries over into our lives.

“Her classroom is a joyful place. She builds community by encouraging us to get to know each other, share ideas and help each other.

“At the end of each session, her classroom rings with laughter as we play a pottery game and enjoy a potluck lunch,” Young said.