EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE Kean University, Union, NJ Adjunct Professor October 2010 – Present • Assisted in restructuring Art in the Classroom course to better address the needs of elementary educators. Course includes interdisciplinary incorporation of the visual arts using varied media and details modifications and accommodations of visual arts projects for students with special needs. Colonia High School, Colonia, NJ Studio Arts Teacher Sept. 2010-Present • Created detailed maps of the Visual Arts curriculum to assist with the vertical alignment of the curriculum within the district. • Incorporated Graphic Design into Visual Arts I curriculum, addressing NJCC standards, infusing technology into lessons for 21st century learners • Founded and moderated a new chapter of the National Art Honor Society, allowing any students who achieves a grade of “B” or higher in the visual arts the opportunity to be recognized for academic achievement. Purnell High School, Pottersville, NJ Studio Arts Teacher August 2008-August 2010 • Successfully introduced and established fibers, graphic design and surface design curriculums and re-established wheel pottery program. • Stressed the importance of the applied arts as well as fine arts to ensure the success of students, including those with learning challenges, in a visual arts classroom. • Incorporated multi-faceted approaches to learning and creative problem-solving using both discipline-based and theme-based approaches, as well as AKOM constructs, in accordance with NJCCS. • Initiated and maintained on-line gallery of student artwork. • Provided guidance in the development of students’ art portfolios for the college admission process. • Moderator, Yearbook and Art Clubs • Served on Scheduling Committee to analyze and restructure academic schedule from alternating 4 x 4 block schedule to 8 x 4 rotating block schedule. New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, Westfield, NJ Administrative Director June 2008-Present • Co-founder of the NJWA Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts • Co-administration of the day-to-day workings of NJWA Summer Camp (elementary), Junior Fine Arts Program (middle school) and Academy for the Performing and Visual Arts (high school). • Assisted in the design and implementation of new course offerings. • Participated in the screening and interview process for new teacher hires. Our Lady of Peace School, Fords, NJ, Art and Music Teacher 2000-2008 • Devised unconventional uses of conventional materials and resources for outstanding student creativity and conceptual learning. • Developed innovative and comprehensive curriculum for the visual arts based on NJCCS, with emphasis on artistic expression as a highly personal experience for students. • Dialogued with colleagues on a regular basis to help identify and accommodate students with possible motor or learning difficulties. • Identified students’ individualism and developed curriculum to accommodate different learning styles and artistic skill levels, maximizing student comprehension. • Cultivated parent interest and involvement in the visual arts through the exhibition of over 7700 student works on the Artsonia gallery on the world wide web. • Moderator of Ceramic and Scrapbook Clubs; Assistant Moderator of Yearbook Club.
My desire to become a teacher of the arts has always been fueled by a love of knowledge, creativity and personal expression, and a need to share that passion with young people. Not only does art have an immeasurable value in examining our history as humans, but it also has infinite significance as the psychological basis of a student-centered educational philosophy based on relevant sensory and kinesthetic experiences. Student learning has one common factor: learning must be relevant to the life of the student. A student will conceptualize an idea in terms of his/her own personal experiences, learning and retaining that knowledge. This allows me to develop existing skills, introduce new ones and cultivate their individuality while maintaining their interest and engagement with media and materials. The art room is a place for creative exploration and play, where sensory/kinesthetic investigations of materials lead to creative ideas. Art education must also take into account Vygotsky’s zones of proximal development through the use of scaffolded instruction. Once a student achieves a certain level of technical skill and creative proficiency, my responsibility is to encourage and to guide the student toward the next level of achievement while retaining that sense of wonder and play that comes from creative experimentation. My classroom atmosphere promotes the respect and exchange of ideas between students, and between students and teacher. It promotes learning and creates momentum toward the next level of technical skills and creative imagination, while satisfying basic skills needs and core curriculum standards. Teaching is a gift. Good teaching is a gift that begs to be shared. Everything I have experiences, from my own youth, through my experiences with my children, to completing my college degree thirty years after I started it, got me to this point in my life where I can be confident that I am truly a good teacher. But I can always be a better teacher. There will always be another new art technique, new teaching strategy, new historical discover to capture my attention, my interest and my passion. So for me, being a teacher means remaining at student---always.
Teacher of Distinction, celebratingart.com, 2013 Nominee, VSA Teacher of the Year, 2011 Outstanding Research Award, Research Day Exhibition, Kean University, March 2009 Speaker, Tribute to Carole Schaefer Koros, Founding Dean, School of Visual Arts, Kean University, 2008 Dean’s List, Kean University, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Scholarship Honoree, Kean University Gala, Spring 2005
Master’s In Fine Arts Education Program, Kean University, 2009 NJ State Standard Teaching Certificate, June 2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Kean University, 2005 Graduate, Westfield Senior High School, Westfield, NJ, 1974
AUTHORSHIPS May 2010, Challenges and Fulfillment: Determining the Factors that Contribute to the Successful Classroom Experiences of Students with Learning Disabilities in the Fine Arts, Saarbrücken, Germany: VDM Verlag Publishers. COMMUNITY SERVICE Presenter, “SGO’s and Assessment”, AENJ Conference, October 2013 Presenter, “On Beyond Zentangles,” AENJ Conference, October 2013 Presenter, “Flying Blind-Using Blind Contour for Inspiration”, AENJ Conference, October 2013 Presenter, "Performance-Based Assessment for Project-Based Education", Educating the Creative Mind Conference, Kean University, May 2013 Presenter, "Promoting the Student Voice", Educating the Creative Mind Conference, Kean University, May 2013 Presenter, "What is Creativity and How Do We Assess it?", Colonia HIgh School Inservice Day, October 2012 Presenter, "The QR Project" and "Rockin' The Rubric," AENJ Conference, October 2012 Presenter, "Meaning Making", Egg Harbor Township School District, February 2012 Presenter, "Authentic Art Making--Voices through Materials", AANJ, January 2012 Presenter, “”Conceptualization,” Woodbridge District Art Teachers, December 2011 Presenter, “Finding Their Voices”, AENJ Conference, October 2011 Palette Parade, AENJ Conference, October 2010 Presenter, “Put a Little Fiber in Your Curricular Diet”, AENJ Conference, October 2009 School of Visual Arts Faculty Promotions Review Board, Kean University, September 2008 Presenter, "ADDing Art: ADD/ADHD in the Art Room", AENJ Conference, October 2006 Chairperson, Middle States DOAS Report Committee, Our Lady of Peace School, March 2005 Visual and Performing Arts Advisory Board, Kean University, 2004-2005 Presenter, "The Inadequate Education of the ADD/ADHD Child", Teacher In-Service Colloquium, Diocese of Metuchen, October 2004 Member, Planning Committee, Teacher In-Service Colloquium, Diocese of Metuchen, Apr - Sept. 2004 Member, Art Educators of New Jersey