Jennifer is originally from Texas and received her BFA in Studio Art at Texas Tech University. She did not start out to become a teacher but fell into her teaching career when she was asked to teach a drawing class at the Roswell Museum and Art Center in 2002. She discovered she loved teaching art and soon moved on to teaching at community centers and more, including the Juvenile Detention Center. In 2008 she began teaching Art full-time at Roswell High School. Currently Jennifer teaches elementary art with R.I.S.D.- Arts Connect.
Michelle St. Andre, President-Elect
Rio Rancho Public Schools, High School Art Teacher
Michelle Sanchez-St.Andre holds a NMPED Level III Licensure and the Visual Arts teacher at V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. Michele has started her ninth year teaching, six of those with Rio Rancho Public Schools. Prior to becoming a Visual Arts teacher, she was a professional Graphic Designer for nine years and I still enjoys taking on freelance jobs from time to time. As a teacher, Michele enjoys sharing her knowledge of graphic design, drawing, painting and sculpting with 9-12th grade students in her Graphic Arts, Intro to Visual Arts, Drawing & Painting and AP Studio Art classes. She has been a member of the NMAEA since 2009. She brings extra experience to the NMAEA with her knowledge of working with the California Art Education Association for three years. She served on the CAEA board as the monthly newsletter designer for the central region of the CAEA. Now she has become more involved with the NMAEA and she hopes to fill the shoes of the High School Division Director position.Click Here to Contact Michelle
Cynthia Hanna has been the art teacher at Crownpoint High School in Crownpoint, New Mexico since 1995. In addition to teaching Art I, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics and AP Art Studio, sponsoring the art club and the student council, Cynthia also has coached JV or C-team volleyball for 19 years. Prior to that she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kopong, Botswana where she taught art at Kopong Community Junior School. Her teaching career began at Claude Jr-Sr High School in Claude, Texas. Cynthia grew up in Lubbock, Texas and will still occasionally lapse into a Texas drawl. She graduated with a BFA in Art Education from Texas Tech University in 1990 and earned a MA in the Humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2009. Cynthia was lucky enough to grow in a family of artists, and that love and support in the creative endeavors has led her to explore many artistic interests from ceramics and quilting to painting. However, she considers her most creative and satisfying endeavor to be the art of teaching. When not overly committed to Crownpoint High School, Cynthia enjoys walks on the mesa with her dog Basil and finding adventure in travels nearby or far-flung.
Michelle Lemons, Advocacy/Resource Development Chair
Albuquerque Public Schools, Elementary Art Teacher
Michelle received her MA in Art Education with a specialty K-12 licensure, Level III, from the University of New Mexico. She has been teaching with Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) since 2001 and is currently an itinerant elementary art teacher. Her administrative licensure is pending for later this year in May. Currently sh is the Western Regional Elementary Representative for the National Art Education Association (NAEA), as well as the Advocacy Chair for the New Mexico Art Education Association (NMAEA) as well as a committee member of the NMACAE. Michelle also holds a BA in Art and Design, with a minor in JLMC/Marketing from Iowa State University. She has over 10 years experience in marketing, promotions, event planning, and graphic design/advertising. Michelle is a past president of the NMAEA during which time she created and implemented not only the state professional awards in art education but also several student award programs, including the NM Scholastic Art Awards. During her teaching career, she has mentored new teachers, pre-service teachers, and has co-authored her department standards curriculum. She has presented numerous workshops in the community as well as at the NMAEA and NAEA conferences. She hopes to continue to help promote visual art collaboration and professional development in the field. She enjoys working with students and is inspired by their creativity and enthusiasm daily.
Phyllis is a native of Santa Fe and has been teaching since 1997. Her family traces back to the Pueblo Revolt. She has had the privilege of living in different parts of NM and has experienced diversity through the traditions, customs, and foods of the different cultures here in the state. She received her BFA from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico with an emphasis in printmaking and art history and an MFA in education: studio art teaching, from Boston University. Presently, Phyllis lives in Santa Fe and teaches art at Pinon Elementary School. She has past experience as an early childhood educator and is a true believer that art is the foundation for successful learning in the 21st Century. As former membership chair and NAEA delegate for New Mexico since 2004, she feels she has experienced tremendous growth attending the Western Regional Leadership conferences for the past two years. The experience she has gained will help her represent NMAEA.
After a BA in Music at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, Steve Heil received his Post-bacc in Art Education at the University of New Mexico. He has been teaching in New Mexico since 1997 and is National Board Certified in the area of Early/Middle Childhood Art. He taught art at all levels in various settings in McKinley County, from Zuni to Crownpoint, public and private school. As the PreK-5 art teacher at Juan de Oñate Elementary in Gallup, Steve’s colleagues, students, and their families championed his recognition as a 2010 recipient of the Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. Since 2012 he has worked with diverse gifted students, first in McKinley County and now with Santa Fe Public Schools. Steve is interested in maximizing student inquiry to meet all students’ needs and helping his students grow as creative and critical thinkers with the practical skills to get things done. As Interim Middle School Division Director, Steve hopes to help connect middle school art teachers from all corners of the state.
Perry Heimer, Communications Chair
Belinda Hardin is originally from Santa Fe and graduated from Santa Fe High School. After high school, she graduated from NMSU and later did her graduate work at ENMU. She is a 28 year employee of the Lovington Municipal Schools, having taught gifted & talented, 2nd grade through 7th grade, before becoming the Elementary Fine Arts Coordinator for the District in 2003.
As Coordinator, she has begun several new programs for the arts to be visible within the community. Some of these include the “Celebrate the Arts” night at the annual art fair and the “Artist Signing” where the students sign their artwork for the annual calendar sales. One can see framed student art work all around the district as well as at the local hospital, public library, museum, courthouse and student health clinic. She is an advocate for the fine arts and was instrumental in developing the “Wildcat Singers”, an elementary honor choir and the “Wildcat Ringers”, an elementary bell choir. Belinda has enjoyed mentoring classroom teachers who struggle with integrating the arts.
She has created an Art Resource Center for teachers, filled with art resources, art examples, musicals, costumes, and art supplies. Students look forward to attending her Art Camp each summer, where they get to experience all the disciplines of the arts.
Belinda is a member of the New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education, and a Board member of the Lea County Museum. She is a CASA volunteer and was awarded “Rookie of the Year” in 2015. She was also the 2014 recipient of the NMAE Association, Supervisor/Administrator of the Year Award.
She has been married for 37 years to a cowboy she met at while at NMSU. They have two daughters, both of whom are doctors. The love of her life is her nine-month old granddaughter, Charlee.
Shannon Bay, Museum Education Division Representative
Vicki Breen is the Arts Consultant for the State of New Mexico Public Education Department. She coordinates the Fine Arts Education Act (FAEA), elementary fine arts programs in the 89 New Mexico Public School Districts and 36 State and Local Charter Schools. The work required includes monitoring student participant numbers and funding guidelines, updating each district and school’s application each year, on-site monitoring, technical assistance and on-site professional development. Additional work includes coordinating the FAEA Winter Meeting, performing legislative and community work across the state for New Mexico students, with programs bridging to secondary schools.
Ms. Breen is an advisor to the New Mexico Advisory Council for the Arts, a member of the Board of the New Mexico Art Education Association, and Past President of the National Association of State Directors of Art Education. Ms. Breen monitored statewide public school district instructional programs K-12, acted as EPSS (Educational Plan for Student Success) Team Leader (on accreditation site visits). She has networked with higher education, developed and disseminated informational networks and workshops among educators, business and community leaders for visual and performing arts and other content areas, and she has coordinated the New Mexico Teacher of the Year recognition. She has conducted teacher training through assessment and curriculum designs, taped and edited teaching videos to provide educational models, developed and published art, art education and student recognition documents, as well as Youth Art Month development and design. Ms. Breen holds a Master of Arts Degree in Arts Education from the University of New Mexico, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Arts and Arts Education from Eastern New Mexico University, and Administrative License from New Mexico Highlands University.