What is on your teacher’s desk?

A work environment can say a lot about its inhabitants. In this photo series, we took a look at some of Centennial’s favorite teacher’s desks and their choice of adornments.

We gained inspiration for this project from Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti—winner of the World Press Photo 2021 in the “Portrait Stories” category. In Galimberti’s series, he takes objects that his subjects value and artistically displays them in his photographs. He has done this with kids’ toys in his series Toy Stories and adult collections in the series The Ameriguns

The first desk belongs to John Sharbaugh, an English teacher at Centennial.


On his desk, he has personal things like pictures of his dogs, wife and kids, as well as gifts from his students. He also has pet rocks, socks, pins, and pencil holders, among many other knick-knacks. Sharbaugh arranges his desk with “necessities on the left side, and [his] lesson plan on the right side to free up plenty of space to work”, as he is left-handed. 

The next desk belongs to Centennial band director, David Matchim. On his desk, Matchim usually has two or more coffees and a lot of sheet music. “Coffee is a necessity, it’s a pretty great still life representation of my life,” he jokes. 

Marylynn Doff is a French teacher at CHS.

Her desk houses a paper organizer, hand sanitizer, iced tea or water, a picture of her family on vacation, a sandbox with various items, and a “baguette jail.” The “baguette jail” on her desk is a jail to trap small plastic baby toys that the students have to find around the room. The jail has been a fun addition she added this year, and Doff says that it definitely represents the personality of her very energetic fifth period class.

The final photographed desk belongs to math teacher Chris Panzarella, who claims that his workspace is not very organized.

On his desk he has a computer, a pad of paper, handouts, and various writing utensils, including a cup of markers, pens, and pencils.. Alongside them, he keeps a cup of popsicle sticks with his students’ names. He picks popsicle sticks instead of calling directly on students to ensure they are always engaged and participating. 

Each teacher has objects on their desk of practical or sentimental value to them. Next time you see your teacher’s desk, think about why it is there, because there could be a deeper meaning.


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan