A “true Marauder,” Mr. Ed Novinsky ’72 retires from Jesuit after more than 20 years

Whether it’s students winning awards at art shows or a performance in the Black Box Theater sparking a new discussion, Jesuit High School Sacramento’s art program is one reason many feel the institution is a life-building experience.

Among numerous faculty members who have contributed to the program’s success is Studio Art teacher Mr. Ed Novinsky ’72. But after 20-plus years of dedicated service to the school, Mr. Novinsky retired from Jesuit following the 2020-2021 school year. 

An artist himself, Mr. Novinsky brought an advanced understanding to the classroom.  

“Ed Novinsky possesses the high levels of material knowledge, technical skill, and aesthetic sense of a highly successful professional artist,” said English teacher Mr. Ted Hornback ’83. “Such understanding and performative ability [provided] credibility with his students because they [knew] that what Ed [required] of them is necessary to develop as artists — that artistic expression requires sustained, dedicated effort to master the media of expression.”

With art being a form of self-expression, students need to feel comfortable in their working environment. Few understood this better than Mr. Novinsky. 

“There may not [have been] a more approachable teacher on campus who [went] out of his way to get to know the guys outside of the classroom as well,” said English teacher and Head Freshman Football Coach Mr. Philip Nuxoll ’83. “Getting to know a student’s personality, and then allowing the student to express himself in his classwork is a teaching art form, and Mr. Novinsky was a master at that.”

In order to make his students comfortable, Mr. Novinsky was vulnerable — often sharing details about his own life. Patrick Leal ’21 is one of many students who appreciated Mr. Novinsky’s honesty and openness. 

“I loved hearing all of his stories about his previous jobs or trips, and he always made class interesting,” Patrick said. “Not only [was] he a fun teacher, he [was] an extremely good teacher. He is a professional artist and he always gave me extremely helpful advice regarding any of my projects.”

Mr. Novinsky could also relate to students — being that he was a Jesuit student once. After graduating from Jesuit in 1972, Mr. Novinsky attended Sacramento State and earned a degree in Fine Art. He then pursued a career in Fine Art with his paintings shown in galleries and museums throughout the western states. 

In 2000, Mr. Novinsky returned to Jesuit to teach all levels of Studio Art. 

“It has been a great experience teaching at my old high school,” Mr. Novinsky said. “It has been great teaching the freshmen and watching them progress as they advance in the program and finally instructing them as seniors. I am thankful for Father [John] McGarry [S.J.] giving me a chance to teach at Jesuit and watching my son graduate from Jesuit.” 

While he’s retiring from Jesuit, Mr. Novinsky isn’t finished with his career as an artist. He also plans to continue his hobbies and possibly add a few more. 

“My ‘retirement’ will be dedicating my time to my own art and the collaborative work I do with my wife,” Mr. Novinsky said. “I am sure that I will fish and hunt and spend time in our garden. Maybe I will even join a Bingo Club!”

Having a tremendous impact on the school’s community, Mr. Novinsky will certainly be missed. 

“For the last twenty years, Jesuit High School has benefitted from Ed’s expertise and commitment, as Jesuit has both produced numerous award-winning artists and broadened the perspectives of every student who has stepped into his classroom,” Mr. Hornback said. “Jesuit will miss this talented artist, skillful educator, and avid outdoorsman. We will also miss a loyal alumnus and true Marauder. The faculty and staff are also grateful for all the delicious baked goods that he has thoughtfully claimed credit for over the last two decades.”

It’s clear the entire Jesuit community is grateful for Mr. Novinsky’s service and dedication to the school, and wish him the best of luck in retirement.