Dr. Sara Ptomey and Dr. Michaelann Kelley join a list of distinguished award recipients (click here). They are being recognized for their dedication and commitment to the arts and art education in public schools.
Each year, the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) recognizes educators, leaders, and individuals for their continued efforts and significant achievements in art education at the local, state, regional and national levels. There are 10 different awards TAEA bestows. TAEA named Ptomey the 2018 Friend of Art Education Award recipient, while Kelley was honored with the Supervision/Administration Division Outstanding Art Educator Award.
Ptomey is the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. She has been a long supporter of the visual arts. Ptomey was Joey Doyle’s (click), a well-known art educator and leader, direct supervisor for many years. She encouraged him to promote the arts not only in Aldine ISD but also across Texas. Because of her support, Doyle was able to make an indelible impact in the development of the Visual Art Scholastic Event known commonly as VASE. He helped establish the pilot program and its expansion statewide. The UIL contest, which recognizes exemplary student achievement in the visual arts, draws thousands of students across the state each year. They compete in different levels as they all vie to advance to win the state’s top honors.
She continually encourages others to grow on a personal and professional level. Ptomey supports art educators to present at TAEA conferences. She advises them to take on leadership roles. To show how much she values professional development, she has taken part or attended many a session. Most recently, Ptomey attended the TAEA State Conference held in Galveston.
Ptomey’s leadership, creativity, and collaboration have helped the visual arts program expand. She helped the program grow from six elementary art teachers in 2014-2015 to 20 the following school year. Today, every elementary school — 39 campuses —has an art teacher. This expansion has given nearly 70,000 students access to quality art experiences all year long. She inspires visual arts teachers to seek out new ideas and resources to use in the classrooms. Ptomey also promotes the visual arts in the development of the districtwide art curriculum.
Ptomey has worked in education for 29 years. Twenty-five of those years have been in Aldine ISD. Over the years, her support has been unwavering. She continues to support and fund educational initiatives that integrate the arts. Ptomey challenges art educators to ensure students receive quality teaching and learning experiences.
Kelley is the director of visual arts. Colleagues describe her as a teacher, mentor, and educational leader. Those who nominated Kelley list many qualities. There is one common descriptor. Her colleagues agree she sets a high bar for quality art education and collaboration.
Kelley strives to give her staff every staff development opportunity possible. She supports and encourages professional growth. She seeks to motivate and inspire them with new techniques and materials. An advocate of art education, she is always looking for new and innovative ways to teach art. Every year she writes grants. These ensure Aldine teachers are giving students the best art education possible. The grants also make it possible to provide integrated teaching experiences (click to read an example) for effective learning for all students.
Even after 27 years with the District, Kelley’s energy and creativity are still boundless! Anyone who has met Kelley is immediately aware she is passionate about art and art education. She shares that passion and encourages her art teachers to do so as well. Ever-willing to experiment, she created “TACO ’bout It.” The TACO (Teaching Art Collaboratively Online) webcasts feature art teachers. The segments help art educators to continue to learn and be inspired. The teachers also share how to integrate art into core subjects. Studies show integration is helping educators meet the needs of diverse learners through the arts. It also helps students understand the connections between different disciplines while having fun.
Kelley is a prolific Twitter user posting and retweeting about the work art teachers are doing in the classroom. She also provides staff and student accomplishments — numerous AISD students have won awards over the years at the district, regional, area, state, and national levels — with the District’s Communication’s Office to share with the community.
She is passionate about students and her staff. Her staff members describe Kelley as a great listener. She is always ready to help staff members who need a hand or to share her knowledge. She empowers art teachers to write curriculum. And praises the work they do to develop each other’s skills. Kelley encourages them to bring ideas to the table to help grow the District’s art program. She has gained respect from her educators because she values their input. Her knowledge and effective collaborative skills have also gained respect from District leaders.
Kelley has also not forgotten to support students directly. She makes time for the kids to let them know she cares about their success as artists. Kelley frequently visits classrooms. She is often times seen talking with students about their work. It is not unusual to see Kelley sitting down to guide students or to sit down to work on her own project alongside them. She also attends many of the events that feature students’ work.
TAEA recognized AISD’s art program in 2015 when it bestowed the District with the Youth Art Month (YAM) Award. The honor recognizes districts for their leadership and support of quality arts education. (Click to read the full story.)
Teacher Angela Coffey (formerly with AISD) lauded Kelley.
TAEA is the largest state professional art education association in the nation. Each year, TAEA recognizes members from across the state with awards in various divisions. The Supervision/Administration Award is bestowed to an individual who has significantly contributed to the association and to art education at the state, local and/or national levels.
The Friend(s) of Art Education Award is presented to non-TAEA members (e.g. school board members, superintendents, administrators, principals, supply dealers, publishers, advocates, and others) who have significantly contributed to the Association and to art education at the state, local and/or national levels.)
Individuals are honored for these awards only once.
Ptomey and Kelley will receive their awards later this fall. They will be recognized at the First General Session of the TAEA 58th Annual Conference on Nov. 9 from 2-4 p.m. The event will take place at the McAllen Convention Center. in McAllen, TX. For more information, visit the Texas Art Education Association website (click here).
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