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Kutztown University will have a dominant share of the awards at this weekend’s Pennsylvania Art Education Association’s annual fall conference in Harrisburg with eight of 10 awards due to be awarded to KU faculty and alumni.
Two KU faculty members and six alumni will receive awards for their contributions to art education in Pennsylvania. Additionally, a KU senior art education major will receive the PAEA scholarship.
KU’s Dr. Heather Fountain, associate professor of art education and chair of the undergraduate art education program, is the PAEA’s 2012 Outstanding Special Needs Art Educator. Fountain focuses on designing arts and education programs that provide students of many abilities equitable access to learning.
Misty Young, a KU student, says, “I do not think that I would have made it this far in my pursuit for higher education without Fountain. She kept me going when I thought that giving up was my only option. She made me believe in myself and… I now use my disabilities to help others.”
KU’s Dr. Carrie Nordlund, assistant professor of art education, will receive the Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator award.
Dr. Marilyn Stewart, a professor of art education at KU, says Nordlund “is a dedicated advocate for her students and for the field of art education, a serious and focused scholar in the areas of Waldorf Education, reflective teaching, and feminist pedagogy, a caring and empathic collaborator, and one of the hardest working professionals I’ve even known.”
Along with her teaching accomplishments, Nordlund is an avid scholar. Recent publications include “Activist Art and Pedagogy: The Dinner Party Curriculum Project,” “An Invitation to Social Justice: Sixteen Principles for Teaching Art” and “Teaching Art as Reflective Craft.”
Lisbeth Bucci ’97, the PAEA’s 2012 Outstanding Region Representative, received her B.S. in art education from KU. Bucci, who recently retired as a visual arts educator from Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, is a PAEA board member. She has begun and continued initiatives for regional events and developed informative sessions for new and pre-service art teachers.
“Lisbeth’s energy and attention to detail are helping PAEA grow and respond to member needs,” says Kris Fontes, PAEA president.
Melissa Gallagher, ’79 and ’84, earned a B.S. and M.Ed. in art education from KU and is the PAEA’s Outstanding Educator of the Year. She serves as a board member for the PAEA and is co-chair of the 2012 PAEA annual conference. Gallagher is chair of the art department at Carlisle High School in the Carlisle Area School District.
A colleague, Judith P. Trefflinger, says “In her tenure as the department chairperson, Melissa has managed to keep the visual arts on the radar scope of our school board while continuously encouraging her department to step forward to take on advocacy roles within the community.”
Concetta Mattioni ’98 will receive the award for Outstanding Secondary Art Educator. Mattioni, who currently teaches at Penncrest High School in the Rose Tree Media School District, encourages her students to explore different artistic mediums.
Richard Gregg, principal of Penncrest High School, says Mattioni “was the driving force behind the school’s Catwalk gallery where student artworks are displayed on a rotating basis.” Gregg also said that Mattioni “has numerous accolades and art awards for her personal work and these encourage her students to reach for their own level of excellence.”
Wendy Sweigart ’90 has been named the PAEA 2012 Outstanding Museum Art Educator. Sweigart, who received her B.S. in art education from KU, is the director of outreach education for the Susquehanna Art Museum in Harrisburg. Sweigart has also served as the curator for the Pennsylvania Department of Education galleries and as a conference chairperson, regional representative, mini-conference coordinator and judge for the PAEA.
According to colleague Mary Louise Dallam, “she works tirelessly for improved public awareness and deeper understanding among the citizens of Central Pennsylvania for the role an art museum can play in the community and public schools.”
KU alum Jackie Thomas ’71 will receive the Outstanding Retired Art Educator award. Jackie, who received her B.S. and M.Ed. in art education from KU, served as an arts educator during an illustrious career as a teacher, department chair, principal, acting superintendent and assistant superintendent for the Williamsport Area School District.
According to Kris Fontes, PAEA President, “Her knowledge of school policy in addition to her art education background made her a perfect mentor.” Thomas, author of several publications about art education, is also a practicing artist who exhibits her work in fibers across Pennsylvania.
Kristen Tuerk, ’84, ’94 and ’09, earned her B.S., B.F.A. and M.Ed. from Kutztown University and is the PAEA’s Outstanding Middle Level Art Educator for 2012. Tuerk currently teaches at the Kutztown Middle School in the Kutztown Area School District, where she is well known in the community and organizes numerous events where middle school students, college students and community members can interact. In addition to collaborating outside the classroom with community members, she is an active participant in events as owner and operator of the “Kristen Tuerk Creative Arts Institute and Custom Picture Frame Shop.”
Mary Kate Bergh, an art education major at KU, will receive the 2012 PAEA Fellows Clyde M. McGeary Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes Bergh’s academic excellence, personal artistic production, student leadership and attendance at PAEA activities. The Berwyn-native also participates in intramural athletics at KU.