Remembering Phil Buntin

Hannah Kipp

Sugar Beet staff reporter

Phillip Buntin, former Garden City High School art teacher, passed away on Nov. 17. Buntin began working at in Garden City in 1978. He spent his entire working career at the school except for a short time working for Missouri schools. Buntin retired in 2007 from teaching and moved back to Missouri. Buntin was a great example of what teachers strive to be. Buntin was an eccentric teacher with many creative talents.

“He was always really fun to be around, and he was also extremely talented and would show me little tricks on how to teach things, so he was very helpful,” Lisa Neeley, close friend and coworker of Buntin, said. “He was just always joking, always fun, light-hearted, he was slow to get angry, just generally concerned about students and people and me. He would ask me how I was doing. He was just a real sweet man.”

Buntin was very involved with the community and the school. He worked on many sets for plays for both the high school and Garden City Community College.

“I will always remember him putting hours and hours on The Wizard of Oz backdrop, and even after I graduated high school, I still saw him at the community college working on the set for Sweeney Todd,” Brian Nelson, former student of Buntin, said.

Buntin’s teaching techniques were one of his many unique qualities.

“He would give you some creativity and let you go your own way and he didn’t have such a rigid lesson plan for you. It was just kind of a fun class and a nice atmosphere,” Shannon Ford, form student of Buntin, said.

Buntin allowed students to use their creativity to their advantage. He wanted to have something new for students to learn every moment he could.

“He was around helping his students a lot and always trying to bring out the best in them and show them what they could do to make their artwork better. He always tried to come up with new ideas every year, always something new,” Neeley said.

After 28 years of service, Phillip Buntin will have forever made a mark at Garden City High School.

Hannah Kipp is an arts and communications sophomore. You can contact her at

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