2015-2016 NMAEA Award Winner

Max Coll and Catherine Joyce Coll Award for Distinction in Art Education

J. Paul Taylor, Las Cruces NM

One of New Mexico's most distinguished citizens, J. Paul Taylor, has spent his life as a legislator, educator, community leader, and arts patron. J. Paul Taylor was born to a pioneering New Mexico family. His mother, Margarita Romero Y Lopez was born in 1881 in Romeroville, New Mexico to wealthy traders and merchants on the Santa Fe Trail who were instrumental in the development of Las Vegas as a commercial center. Along with her husband, Robert Taylor, they settled in Mesilla Valley near Las Cruces, where in 1945 J. Paul Taylor and his bride Mary Daniels set up home. In 1947 the young couple reloacted to Mesilla where J. Paul Taylor began his thirty-nine year career in education. He was first elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 1986, a position he held until his retirement in 2004. In 1953 Rep. Taylor and his wife purchased the historic Barelas-Reynolds property on the plaza in Old Mesilla, two miles from Las Cruces. The Taylor's home today is one of the great architectural and historically significant properties in southern New Mexico, filled with a world-class collection of art from New Mexico, the Southwest, North and South America, Mexico, and Europe. On the National Register of Historic Properties, which was dedicated as a New Mexico State Monument in 2004. Ana Pacheco extensively interviewed Taylor and maMiny if his family members while writing the story of Taylor's remarkable life in New Mexico. The book is illustrated with historical and family photographs as well as contemporary photographs of the Taylor Monument and art collections.  


Elementary Art Educator of the Year/NM Art Educator of the Year

Michelle Lemons

Albuquerque Public Schools, Albuquerque, NM

Michelle Lemons is originally from Iowa but has been in New Mexico long enough to considered a local. Michelle has been an elementary art teacher with the APS Fine Arts Program for fourteen years. In addition  to teaching, Michelle also volunteers for committees, provides hands-on workshops and professional development for teachers during conferences throughout the school year and in the summer. She is the Past President on the New Mexico Art Education Association and has been part of the changes and growth of the association. Her skills and experience have been essential during the spurt growth the association has experienced. Michelle is always searching for ways to improve her teaching and professional skills by attending conferences at the state and national level and presenting new and innovative lessons and activities. Michelle strives to provide assistance to all in her professional and personal circle. 


High School Art Educator of the Year

Shirley Pelot

Central High School, Central, NM

Working in the remote district of Central Schools and being isolated from the community of art education professionals. She has shown determination to become apart of the art education community in New Mexico. She has connected with other art teachers around the state to share ideas and best practices. Shirley is always going out of her way to find avenues of achievement for her students. Shirley's students are consistently winning awards in local and state competitions, such as the NM Scholastic Art Awards and the Congressional Art Competition. SHirley is a contributing and active member of the NMAEA, regularly attending the state conference and is a working artist where she strives to develop her own artistic skills so that they may inform her teaching and benefit the education of her students. 


Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

D’Jean Jawrunner

Mesalands Community College, Tucumcari NM

D'Jean Jawrunner is the foundry director and art professor for Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Her passion for sculpture and foundry are evident with the annual iron pour workshop, with an average of 5000lbs of metal poured over the weekend for the workshop. 

D'Jean Jawrunner's career as an artist includes sculpture created in range of materials, techniques, printmaking, and metalsmithing. Jawrunner has exhibited both nationally and internationally besides Edgar Degas, Kiki Smith, and Andy Warhol. She also participates in several sculpture symposiums and workshops involving the pouring of bronze and iron. She has commissioned works that are in parts of New Mexico, Ohio, and England. 


Administrator of the Year

Cindy Simmons- Roswell Independent School District;

Creative Learning Center Director, Roswell NM

Cindy grew up in a family of teachers, her father was a coach and principal and her mother was a first grade teacher. She was raised in Roswell, New Mexico and started singing and performing for anyone that would be an audience. She sang in middle school, high school, and college. She graduated with a double major in Music and Early High School Education from Eastern New Mexico University and was awarded with a full Vocal Music scholarship. She later received a MA in Elementary Education with Administration from ENMU. 

Over the last thirty-four years in education, she has been privileged to teach every grade from K-12, including gifted education. She also spent six years as a testing facilitator, guidance counselor, Next-Step Plan advisor at Roswell High School where she ewas given the opportunity to sponsor Science Olympiad, MESA (Mathematics, Engineering Science Achievement), coaching teams to build musical instruments, debate teams, etc. 

After leaving Roswell high school she was finally given the dream job at the Creative Learning Center as the Director of the Arts Connect Program/RISD Elementary Arts Program and except for one year as an elementary principal and one year to take care of an elderly family member she has been blessed to be since 2009.


Museum Educator of the Year

Patricia Sigala

Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe NM

Patricia Sigala, a Denver native, was hired as the Outreach Educator at the Museum of International Folk Art in 2000 and continues in this capacity reaching audiences of all ages, abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and motivations. Her students refer to her fondly as "the folk art lady." Prior to that, she held positions at the Director of Education at the Museo de Las Americas in Denver and Cultural Art Educator, Gallery Interpreter, Community Volunteer Assistant with the Denver Art Museum. She holds a Bachelor's of Arts in Non-Profit Community Service Administration from Metropolitan State University, a Master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction form the University of Colorado at Denver. In addition, she has served on the Board of Director's at Santa Fe's Monte del Sol Charter School and Mayor's Child Care Advisory Committee in Denver. For most of her adult life, she has been active as a Danzante in Mexika-Aztec traditional dance and more recently she added yoga to her life repertoire. Her mantra, "May the beauty we love, be what we do," affirms her passion and devotion to art education and the wonderful limitless possibilities that unfold as a result.  


Art Educator Advocacy Award

Sara Otto-Diniz

UNM Art Museum, Albuquerque NM

Sara Otto-Diniz (Ph.D, UNM, Education; MA, University of Texas at Austin, Art History; BA, Wilson College, Religious Studies) served as curator of Academic Initiatives at the UNM Art Museum from 2003-20014 and Interim Director from 2012-2013. In 1985, she founded Art in The Schools, Inc. and served as creative/executive director until 2005, in order to solve a gap in elementary art education in Albuquerque. Prior to the passing of the Federal Art Education Act, only 6 art specialists served eighty-nine APS elementary schools and students received art instruction on a 13 year cycle. 

During her thirty year career, she created integrated and thematic art education curricula (K-12) for Art in The School, Inc., the UNM Art Museum, and School Zone Institute; conducted professional development workshops for more than 8, 000 volunteers and 3, 000 teachers in Albuquerquw, Clovis, Santa Fe, Taos, and Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. As well as Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, she led meaningful learning experiences for more than 10, 000 students (K-16) around works of art at the UNM Art Museum; curated and co-curated 7 museum exhibitions for K-12 students. She has published more than a dozen museums catalogs and gallery guides for children. She continues to teach a seminar on Museum Interpretation at UNM and is a member of the National Art Education Association, New Mexico Art Education Association, New Mexico Alliance for Art Education, New Mexico Art Advisory Council for ArtsEducation, and the American Alliance of Museums. To fund this work, she received grants totaling over $600,000 from the Albuquerque Community Foundation, Urban Enhancement Trust Fund, New Mexico Arts, McCune Charitable Foundation, Honeywell Defense, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For these efforts she received awards from the Albuquerque Arts Alliance, Getty Center for Education in the Arts, New Mexico Art Education Association, NM Governor's Award, UNM College of Fine Arts, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Met Life Foundation.  


Community Advocacy Award

Ron Whitmore and Artisan Santa Fe/Albuquerque

Ron Whitmore has been a part of Artisan Santa Fe since 1988, when he became a business partner and owner. Artisan has been the premier art store in the Santa Fe area for over 40 years. Most recently, Artisan has been sponsoring an event for art teachers at the Santa Fe and Albuquerque stores for the past ten years. Art Educator Appreciation Night is where vendors and their and their representatives participate by bringing samples of materials for art educators to sample. It became a way to provide direct feedback to the manufacturers about materials and meet other educators in the area. Artisan also sponsors a Budding Artist Program for students. It provides art materials and stipends to deserving and nominated art students, to help them with buying the materials they need to succeed in their art. 


President’s Award of Distinction

Laura Wacha

Born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, Laura Wacha's formative years were steeped in the spectacle that is Florida culture. From retired circus performers and aging munchkins, to wealthy blue haired dowagers with their dyed-to-match poodles. The young artist found many characters worthy of note and saw in John Ringling's marvelous collection of theatrical masterpieces, how art could both amaze and amuse. 

In third grade, Laura began attending a unique new school created solely for gifted students from which she graduated in 1979. Pine View School is still open and ranks in the top ten of U.S. Public high schools. Her art teacher for all those years became an immense influence. Laura patterns her teaching style on the formidable Ms. Gaskins alma mater, Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. 

Laura began teaching art in the Belen Consolidated School District in 2008, eventually earning her license through the OPAL program. She currently teaches K-3 aat H.T. Jaramillo Community School and aspires to instill in her students, a passion for creative problem solving. Her paintings, papier mache, and ceramics can be seen at Matrix Fine Art in Albuquerque and on her website www.LauraWacha.com. She has also written two science fiction novels for young adults and has recently been recognized as a local treasure by the Albuquerque Art Business Association.  


Joseph Paul Baca

NM Art Educator of the Year

High School Art Educator of the Year

Joseph P. Baca shows extraordinary efforts in support

of the artistic education, mentorship, and advocacy for

his students and other youth of the area of SE

Albuquerque in his professional occupation and

memberships in Albuquerque. 

He has continued and exceeded yearly his efforts to educate

underserved, under-privileged, under-represented youth and

increase exposure and access to the arts in all facets and

medians to include public art (murals), civic duty art projects

and civic beautification, music, photography, and studio art in

all forms ranging from pottery and ceramics, drawing and painting, urban street art, installation, print making, and art history to name a few of his various efforts. In addition to his occupational efforts, his continued efforts and engagement to support Art Educators, Performance Arts, and Educational Policy at state and national levels makes Joseph Paul Baca our NM Art Educator of the Year, 2015. 

As an undergraduate, Joe was a volunteer with UNM's PLACE program creating murals and other projects for high school and middle school students. Joe has been a Flamenco guitar instructor at the National Institute of Flamenco Arts. He holds a M.A. in Art Education at the University of New Mexico, 2010, and currently teaches Art & Photo at Cesar Chavez Community School, as well as at Harwood Art Institute's Creative Roots and Summer Art Camp Programs.

At Cesar Chavez Community Charter School, Joe designs self-contained, rotating units for the school’s four 9-week quarters in order to allow students to take art classes multiple times throughout the year, changing units with specific standards-based visual art instructions and projects for students to engage in critical thinking and address various learning styles These 9-week units are developed to build referential knowledge incorporating cross-curricular lessons in ELA and Literacy including critiques, group discussion, and relevant articles. Joe also includes Art21 and the use one of the 12 Powerful Words, as well as a unique teaching method known as Paidea Method, a Socratic format of discussion rhetoric allowing more complex discussion ideas concerning art theory and aesthetics.

Although the process is the same for all students, each lesson is created to allow students to choose their own solution to the lesson. I do not dictate aesthetics in my class and this allows for students to choose their own aesthetics and apply it.

The student population at the Cesar Chavez Community School is recognized as high-risk high school aged students, as well as students who fail to achieve success in a normal high school setting. Many students have huge learning gaps, and some students have never been identified for IEPs but need modification to be successful in school.

Additionally, Joe has collaborated to redesign an arts and science curriculum to focus on Project based lessons with a with the school’s science teacher, assisting with integrated material knowledge and preparation, lesson preparation. Joe supplies materials from his art room, as well as models the design and execution of the projects, and materials selection for students.

His leadership and service includes Communications Director for the NMAEA,  co-chairing the NMAEA NM Scholastic Art Awards program,  and co-chairing of the NMAEA YAM Committee. Joe has also mentored UNM art education pre-service teachers, been a guest speaker at UNM, as well as a frequent presenter at the NMAEA conference. Since 2002, he regularly and frequently exhibits, juries, curates and participates as a guest artist in the community

Joseph Paul Baca

NM Art Educator of the Year

High School Art Educator of the Year

Joseph P. Baca shows extraordinary efforts in support

of the artistic education, mentorship, and advocacy for

his students and other youth of the area of SE

Albuquerque in his professional occupation and

memberships in Albuquerque. 

He has continued and exceeded yearly his efforts to educate

underserved, under-privileged, under-represented youth and

increase exposure and access to the arts in all facets and

medians to include public art (murals), civic duty art projects

and civic beautification, music, photography, and studio art in

all forms ranging from pottery and ceramics, drawing and painting, urban street art, installation, print making, and art history to name a few of his various efforts. In addition to his occupational efforts, his continued efforts and engagement to support Art Educators, Performance Arts, and Educational Policy at state and national levels makes Joseph Paul Baca our NM Art Educator of the Year, 2015. 

As an undergraduate, Joe was a volunteer with UNM's PLACE program creating murals and other projects for high school and middle school students. Joe has been a Flamenco guitar instructor at the National Institute of Flamenco Arts. He holds a M.A. in Art Education at the University of New Mexico, 2010, and currently teaches Art & Photo at Cesar Chavez Community School, as well as at Harwood Art Institute's Creative Roots and Summer Art Camp Programs.

At Cesar Chavez Community Charter School, Joe designs self-contained, rotating units for the school’s four 9-week quarters in order to allow students to take art classes multiple times throughout the year, changing units with specific standards-based visual art instructions and projects for students to engage in critical thinking and address various learning styles These 9-week units are developed to build referential knowledge incorporating cross-curricular lessons in ELA and Literacy including critiques, group discussion, and relevant articles. Joe also includes Art21 and the use one of the 12 Powerful Words, as well as a unique teaching method known as Paidea Method, a Socratic format of discussion rhetoric allowing more complex discussion ideas concerning art theory and aesthetics.

Although the process is the same for all students, each lesson is created to allow students to choose their own solution to the lesson. I do not dictate aesthetics in my class and this allows for students to choose their own aesthetics and apply it.

The student population at the Cesar Chavez Community School is recognized as high-risk high school aged students, as well as students who fail to achieve success in a normal high school setting. Many students have huge learning gaps, and some students have never been identified for IEPs but need modification to be successful in school.

Additionally, Joe has collaborated to redesign an arts and science curriculum to focus on Project based lessons with a with the school’s science teacher, assisting with integrated material knowledge and preparation, lesson preparation. Joe supplies materials from his art room, as well as models the design and execution of the projects, and materials selection for students.

His leadership and service includes Communications Director for the NMAEA,  co-chairing the NMAEA NM Scholastic Art Awards program,  and co-chairing of the NMAEA YAM Committee. Joe has also mentored UNM art education pre-service teachers, been a guest speaker at UNM, as well as a frequent presenter at the NMAEA conference. Since 2002, he regularly and frequently exhibits, juries, curates and participates as a guest artist in the community

Joseph Paul Baca

NM Art Educator of the Year

High School Art Educator of the Year

Joseph P. Baca shows extraordinary efforts in support

of the artistic education, mentorship, and advocacy for

his students and other youth of the area of SE

Albuquerque in his professional occupation and

memberships in Albuquerque. 

He has continued and exceeded yearly his efforts to educate

underserved, under-privileged, under-represented youth and

increase exposure and access to the arts in all facets and

medians to include public art (murals), civic duty art projects

and civic beautification, music, photography, and studio art in

all forms ranging from pottery and ceramics, drawing and painting, urban street art, installation, print making, and art history to name a few of his various efforts. In addition to his occupational efforts, his continued efforts and engagement to support Art Educators, Performance Arts, and Educational Policy at state and national levels makes Joseph Paul Baca our NM Art Educator of the Year, 2015. 

As an undergraduate, Joe was a volunteer with UNM's PLACE program creating murals and other projects for high school and middle school students. Joe has been a Flamenco guitar instructor at the National Institute of Flamenco Arts. He holds a M.A. in Art Education at the University of New Mexico, 2010, and currently teaches Art & Photo at Cesar Chavez Community School, as well as at Harwood Art Institute's Creative Roots and Summer Art Camp Programs.

At Cesar Chavez Community Charter School, Joe designs self-contained, rotating units for the school’s four 9-week quarters in order to allow students to take art classes multiple times throughout the year, changing units with specific standards-based visual art instructions and projects for students to engage in critical thinking and address various learning styles These 9-week units are developed to build referential knowledge incorporating cross-curricular lessons in ELA and Literacy including critiques, group discussion, and relevant articles. Joe also includes Art21 and the use one of the 12 Powerful Words, as well as a unique teaching method known as Paidea Method, a Socratic format of discussion rhetoric allowing more complex discussion ideas concerning art theory and aesthetics.

Although the process is the same for all students, each lesson is created to allow students to choose their own solution to the lesson. I do not dictate aesthetics in my class and this allows for students to choose their own aesthetics and apply it.

The student population at the Cesar Chavez Community School is recognized as high-risk high school aged students, as well as students who fail to achieve success in a normal high school setting. Many students have huge learning gaps, and some students have never been identified for IEPs but need modification to be successful in school.

Additionally, Joe has collaborated to redesign an arts and science curriculum to focus on Project based lessons with a with the school’s science teacher, assisting with integrated material knowledge and preparation, lesson preparation. Joe supplies materials from his art room, as well as models the design and execution of the projects, and materials selection for students.

His leadership and service includes Communications Director for the NMAEA,  co-chairing the NMAEA NM Scholastic Art Awards program,  and co-chairing of the NMAEA YAM Committee. Joe has also mentored UNM art education pre-service teachers, been a guest speaker at UNM, as well as a frequent presenter at the NMAEA conference. Since 2002, he regularly and frequently exhibits, juries, curates and participates as a guest artist in the community

Joseph Paul Baca

NM Art Educator of the Year

High School Art Educator of the Year

Miriam Moorehouse

Community Advocacy for Art Education

As project manager for Constituent Services and Strategic Initiatives, Miriam works with every division and bureau in the Public Education Agency developing statutory reports, presentations, and projects for production or publication to the governor, legislature, stakeholders, and constituents. Her varied background includes a BA in communication with an emphasis in theatre from Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois; a master’s degree in learning Disabilities from Bradley University in Peoria; and a BBA in Business Administration with an emphasis in data management from the University of Albuquerque.

Some of Miriam’s career positions have included:

  • Owning a small business where she created websites, brochures, logo designs, policy and procedure manuals, including compliance strategies
  • Overall supervision of the Behavioral Health Services Division (a program division of the state’s Department of Health, with a staff of over 600 in a dozen facilities, programs and lodges throughout the state)
  • Performed educational course alignment and adapted computer applications for physically challenged patients
  • Performed as a Computer Project Specialist – with CART (Computer Assistance research Team) where she–with four colleagues–planned, organized, and guided computer programs for special education students and administrators
  • Served as the Methods and Materials Specialist–for Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) South Area Schools, where she was a key troubleshooter in resolving classroom difficulties

Recognition highpoints have included:

  • Participation as a writer in the College Access Challenge Grant (CAGG), NM Higher Education Department
  • Participated as a board member for the North American College of Botanical Medicine
  • Wrote APS’ Middle School Drug Prevention and School Safety Grant and was awarded $535,000
  • Was awarded the colonel, Aide-de-Camp by Garrey Carruthers, Governor of New Mexico
  • Awarded an Illinois state fellowship for the Bradley University Master’s degree
  • Wrote and received grants from the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman Foundation

Miriam has started helping collect information from the Fine Arts Education Act (FAEA) Review each summer and the mid-year District Report each winter. She helps design the agenda and program for the FAEA Winter Meeting. Most recently, she has helped design the New Mexico Youth Art Month Guide, as well as the Youth Art Month Scrapbook which is submitted to the National Council for Art Education. She has supported New Mexico’s statewide K–12 Arts Education Programs to be recognized with the Council for Art Education in 2013 with an award of merit and in 2014 with an Award of Excellence. She helped develop the 2014 Governor’s September Proclamation for New Mexico Youth Art Month; worked with and helped compile the Arts Education (FAEA) Ten Year Report which was produced and disseminated in 2013. She is currently working on the 2014 FAEA Annual Report.

Being a ‘Designer Compiler’ is her Passion, including:

Creations on paper. Wordsmithed documents; compiled and formatted reports that meet statutory requirement; developed numerous manuals, reports, and presentations; created event invitations, websites, brochures, flyers, logos, process maps.

Multi-media creations. Painted (with oils); designed and brought a business warehouse in under budget; crocheted constructions; designed and tailored clothing; macramé necklaces; felted purses and scarves; designed and knit projects; remodeled houses.

                                    

Contact us

NMAEA

P.O. Box 9432

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87119

Email: president@newmexicoarteducators.org

Please address all snail mail to NMAEA then any specific Board member or member.


New Mexico Art Education Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. NMAEA P.O. Box 9432, Albuquerque, NM 87119

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software