2016-2017 NMAEA Award Winners

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

Michelle Lemons

Michelle Lemons has worked for APS for 19 years, teaching middle school for 4 years and elementary for 15 years.  She has a BA in Art and Design from ISU, a MA in Art Education with Licensure from UNM, and she holds a certificate in Educational Leadership from NMHU.  She has mentored many new and pre-service art teachers while providing high-quality art instruction to 100s of students over many years. She is a Past President of the New Mexico Art Education Association (NMAEA), as well as a past Awards Chair, past Conference Chair and past Delegate to the national association.  Currently, she is the NMAEA Advocacy Chair, and co-chair of the New Mexico Advisory Council on Art Education (NMACAE) as well as an art consultant for Davis Publications and an adjunct lecturer/ pre-service field supervisor for UNM.  She has served on her district's elementary curriculum writing committee, served as a facilitator for EoC standards setting elementary level, and served on the state-level review team for the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS). She has presented workshops at both the state and national levels, and is a past Western Regional Elementary Division Director for NAEA. She has received the NM Elementary Division Award, the NM Art Educator of the Year Award, the Western Regional Elementary Division Educator Award, and the National Elementary Division Educator Award. Michelle strives to provide assistance to all in her professional and personal circle, and has set a standard of professional best practices through her advocacy for, and commitment to, art education throughout her career.



Elementary Art Educator of the Year    

Renee Mitsunaga

RMitsunaga-5x7 copy.jpg

Renee Mitsunaga is originally from the state of Hawaii. Her experiences with many cultures and diverse backgrounds have enhanced her teaching.  Renee’s parents, both educators, and the teachers she worked with for ten years as an Instructional Aide, helped her gain an admiration for the profession and inspired her to pursue her certification to teach. She completed the University of New Mexico/Santa Fe Public Schools Teacher Education and Mentoring Program in 2001, and taught at Tesuque Elementary for ten years.  In 2010, Renee taught 3rd grade for two years in Los Alamos before taking the Art position at Chamisa Elementary. Having been a classroom teacher for 12 years, she is able to integrate descriptive language, mathematical concepts, and multicultural studies. Renee leads the art team at Los Alamos Public Schools.  She researches and networks with other districts to obtain and share information about innovative resources and opportunities. Renee strives to create a collaborative community at her school by bringing her staff together for art-making activities to inspire or spark an idea for integration, team building, or to engage in a service project.  Renee looks for opportunities to connect to core subject areas through integrated projects with students.  She is passionate in demonstrating the rigor and excellence the arts contribute to students and community.  For the past five years, she collaborates with colleagues to implement the annual Multicultural Fair: “Around the World in White Rock”. Renee’s first Recycle Art Fair in 2015 inspired a partnership with Los Alamos County resulting in the “Recycled Fashion Show”, featuring kindergarten through the 12th grade students, staff, district, and community.



Middle School Art Educator of the Year

Amy Birkan


IMG_6075.JPGAmy Birkan is originally from New York where she worked as a fine artist and graphic designer for HarperCollins and Interview Magazine. She began her teaching career in New Mexico, first at a private expeditionary school and for the last nine years at Gonzales Community School. She is a member of the Santa Fe TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) community and serves on the National TAB Leadership Team. As a choice-based art teacher, she is passionate about having students pursue their own ideas through an emergent curriculum.  She is always on the lookout for new and engaging materials to spark excitement in her students. Over the last several years, Amy received grants for play-based hands-on materials, architectural materials, and a Maker’s Lab. Last year she collaborated with The Academy at Larragoite High school to make 3D printing possible with her middle school classes. This year she is seeking funding for the addition of a wood shop in her art room. As an advocate for the arts, she and her students worked together with a local artist to install a giant nest in the school courtyard. Her article about the nest appeared nationally in School Arts Magazine. Currently Amy is working towards her masters at Boston University’s Master of Art Education program. She is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of contemporary art education with her students and colleagues and mentoring future choice-based art teachers.



High School Art Educator of the Year

Janet Davis


IMG_7889.jpgAfter teaching English for three years, Janet Davis had the opportunity to teach a subject where her strongest passions could take form-Art. Janet taught seventh and eighth graders for nine exciting, busy years. When the former 9th grade art instructor retired, Janet made the decision to move up to the 9th grade. Several students were surprised and elated to see a familiar face as they embarked into their high school years. In addition to teaching seventh through ninth graders for Hobbs Municipal Schools, Janet has taught at a local college summer program for children grades 2nd through 6th grade. She has hosted workshops, judged local exhibits, as well as taught small local paint workshops. Janet earned her BA and MA in Education from University of the Southwest. Janet feels strongly in teaching students technical skills related to the visual arts while introducing students to a wide variety of art media to foster a desire to explore their artistic abilities. Janet strives to create a classroom environment to promote confidence and a willingness to try new methods of expressing themselves for her students.


Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

Laurel Lampela

Laurel_Lampela_Oct2016.jpgLaurel Lampela is a Professor of Art Education in the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico. She has been teaching at the university level for over 25 years. Prior to her tenure at UNM, she held appointments at Cleveland State University in Ohio and Marshall University in West Virginia. She also taught art at the elementary and high school levels in Springfield, Ohio and Madison, Wisconsin. She earned a PhD in Art Education from The Ohio State University, a M.Ed. in Art Education from Wright State University and a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is the author and co-editor of books on LGBT issues in addition to journals writings on Studies and research in art education in an era where social justice and equality are at the forefront. She is a co-founder of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Issues Caucus of the National Art Education Association. Her creative work involves the construction of hybrid realities through digital collages and solar gravure prints. Born near the shores of Lake Superior, she spent much of her life living in the Great Lakes region before moving to the southwest 15 years ago. The western landscape is her muse and she never ceases to be fascinated by the expanse, awe, and majesty of the open space. She presents at the national level and has been an active member of NMAEA and NAEA for over a quarter of a century. 


Administrator / Supervisor of the YearDebbie Fleming.jpg

Deborah Fleming, Rio Rancho Public Schools

Debbie Fleming is currently the Fine Arts Director for Rio Rancho Public Schools. She received her degree in Music Education from the University of New Mexico. She has taught music in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. After 17 years as a teacher, Debbie completed her Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and went into administration for RRPS. Debbie is an avid supporter of Arts Education, and is a member of the New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education.  She enjoys working with dozens of talented and dedicated arts educators who do amazing work with students every day!


Museum Educator of the Year

Shannon Bay, Education Program Manager, Georgia O’Keeffe MuseumShannon Bay.jpg

As the Education Program Manager, Shannon Bay runs a variety of programs that touch all ages. The Art and Leadership Program, where she first worked for the Museum in 2006 as an intern, has two components, a Boys Program and a Girls Program. Each summer up to 170 middle school aged children from the Santa Fe Public Schools attend this program and leave it feeling more confident, self aware and with many new friends. This program also serves the interns with the program, of which she supervises and mentors. College interns apply from all over the country to be a part of a transformational summer. The Leadership Program also hires local high school students that were children in the program, continuing the Museum's relationship with them through their formative years. This program is a large undertaking and requires months of preparation. As the lead on it, she often reads books and articles on youth development and struggles they face in order that the program stays relevant. The O’Keeffe Art and Leadership Program continues to encourage and build strength and confidence in Santa Fe's youth. This program is unique in that it is gender based and serves middle school students. There is no record of another program like this in the museum field. In addition to the leadership program, Shannon has overseen since being hired at the Museum in February of 2007, is the program with the Boys and Girls club at Abiquiu Elementary. Twice a month she goes to the Boys and Girls Club at Abiquiu Elementary and leads an art project teaching them about modern art. A program like this requires teamwork and a passion for developing meaningful experiences for students.


Community Advocacy for Art Education

ARTsmart

ARTsmart New Mexico.jpegARTsmart is a 501c3 nonprofit that was founded in 1993.  ARTsmart's "I made it plate project", is a fundraising activity and event that helps fund the visiting artist program for the Santa Fe Public Schools. .  This project consists of every fifth grader in the SFPS school district, approximately twelve hundred students.  Of the twelve hundred placemats created, only one hundred make it to the glazing stage. Students to paint glaze on a large ceramic plate (for auction) and a salad size plate (for student).  The large plate is part of a silent auction held at the ARTsmart February Dinner and Auction. The proceeds help fund the visiting artist program.   The placemats are laminated and set out at the dinner for the guests to take home.  The placemats have become as popular as the plates because there is never a single placemats left on the tables and all plates are always sold at the auction.


Art Educator Advocacy Award

TJ Parkstj parks.jpg

T. J. Parks has devoted his career to education for the last 30 years.  He has worked as a teacher and coach in the Tatum Schools and then went on to serve in several administrative capacities in that district, including superintendent.  After 22 years in that district, he had the opportunity to serve as the superintendent in the Hobbs School District and has held that position for the last eight years.

Mr. Parks states that his goal in the great state of New Mexico is to ensure EVERY child receives the academic, physical and emotional training to be competitive worldwide. In addition to serving with CES, Mr. Parks is the immediate Past President of NM School Superintendents’ Association and was awarded the Superintendent of the Year by his peers this past year.


Retired Art Educator of the Year thelma_1.jpg

Thelma Hahn

Thelma Hahn taught art in Los Alamos Public Schools from 1970 to 1996. During that time Thelma served on the executive board of the National Art Education Association and was elected to serve as the National Elementary Art Director from 1987-1989. Thelma is also a Past President of the New Mexico Art Education Association (listed in the program). She also participates at many levels including the creation and donation of about twenty pottery bowls for a fundraiser in Los Alamos and participates in the Empty Bowls project in Santa Fe. Thelma is a Fulbright Scholar who studied in Japan in 1995. “It was the most wonderful experience of my life…..the people were so kind”.  Thelma is an ambassador to art education for children. She and a colleague created and run an art camp that now serves over 300 students. ”Until the day I die I shall be trying to get art education for all children as I have witness what it can do in the life of children and when they grow into adults.  Bless every art educator who teaches art education as it should be taught!!”


NMAEA President’s Award of Distinctionmarygrace.jpg

Mary Grace

Born in Cleveland Ohio, Mary Grace is a first generation college graduate, and received her Bachelor of Fine Art’s Degree from Miami University, of Ohio. Mary lived in New York City, as a textile and freelance designer, and San Francisco as a clothing merchandiser, before making her way to the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico.  Deeply impassioned by the visual arts, and wanting to make a positive difference in the lives of others, Mary received a Post-Baccalaureate Teaching License from the University of New Mexico.  She has been a K-12 visual art’s instructor for 17 years.  Mary is Nationally Board Certified in Art for Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood. She is presently teaching at Los Alamos High School, where she serves as Department Chair for the Fine and Performing Arts. As a dedicated life long learner, Mary is currently pursuing a Master’s program, to graduate with a Masters in Instruction and Curriculum-Visual Arts.


New Mexico Art Educator of the Year Patti Jordan.jpg

Patti Jordan

Patti Jordan is a graduate of Brigham Young University with a BA in Graphic Design in 1987. She worked as a Graphic Designer for five years at Hickory Kist Graphics in Spanish Fork, Utah. In 1992, Patti moved to Ramah, New Mexico and started teaching at Ramah Elementary while obtaining my Early Childhood and Elementary Teaching Certificates. She taught Kindergarten and First grades at Ramah Elementary for nine years. During that time, she received the Gallup McKinley County Distinguished Teacher Award in 1996. She taught art at Ramah Elementary for ten years and in during that time she received the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education Award in 2007, the Wells Fargo/Golden Apple Teacher Partnership Program Grant Award in 2009, and the Airborne Art Teacher’s Grant award in 2010. During her time as an art teacher at Ramah Elementary, she developed an ongoing annual mural project where students and community work with area artists to design, paint and install nine large murals. These murals have helped unify the community and beautify the exterior of Ramah Elementary in Ramah, New Mexico.

Many of her students have entered and won award scholarships at the Annual Southwest Indian Arts Foundation Reunion of the Master’s Art show in Gallup, New Mexico. Other students entered and received awards at the annual El Morro Area Arts Council Student Art Show.  

She Became a National Board Certified Elementary Art Teacher in 2012.

Currently Patti is working in Zuni, New Mexico at the new Shiwi Ts’ana Elementary School teaching K-5 Elementary Art.

Patti has spent the majority of the past 20 years teaching students that live on or near the Navajo or Zuni Indian Reservations. She has enjoyed learning about the culture, heritage, and traditions of my students. Her willingness to share her passion and knowledge of art with her students and never gets tired of watching them work through the art making process. It is exciting to see them explore, experience, and create beautiful art.

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

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