Two Charles County Public Schools art teachers, Gayle Kraus and Jennifer Reid, have been named 2012 Outstanding Art Educators by the Maryland Arts Education Association (MAEA). Both teachers were nominated for recognition by school administrators and will be honored by the MAEA during an awards ceremony Oct. 19. The awards recognize teachers for their contributions in art education, and to their communities.
Kraus is an art teacher at Piccowaxen Middle School and is being honored by the MAEA as a master teacher at the middle school level. Master teachers are those who have been teaching for more than five years. Kraus was selected for recognition by school staff, including Principal Kenneth Schroeck, Charmaine Young-Waddy, vice principal, and Amy Miller, a reading resource teacher at Piccowaxen. She was nominated for her passion for teaching, working with children and for developing lessons to reach all levels of learners. "Ms. Kraus offers strong instruction that is differentiated to reach students at various grade levels. She plans lessons that engage students and challenge them to think in diverse ways," Schroeck wrote in a nomination letter.
In addition to teaching art, Kraus is the art club and yearbook sponsor at Piccowaxen and is a member of the instructional leadership team. She also organizes a schoolwide Cultural Awareness project and Artist of the Month activities, and puts together poster displays to highlight the accomplishments of students. Kraus said it was the love for art that she developed as a high school student that led her to a career in teaching. "Art is vital for children to learn, no matter their age. Art stimulates the mind to see new worlds and possibilities. As an art educator, I know that I will not only be teaching, but will also be taught," she said.
Reid is an art teacher at Thomas Stone High School and the MAEA is honoring her as a master teacher at the high school level. She was selected for recognition by school staff, including Principal Michael Meiser and Carl Pascarella, vice principal. She was nominated for her friendly and positive demeanor in the classroom and among staff, and for being a constant source of support, praise and motivation for her students. "Because of her experience and dedication to the subject area, her students are successful, prepared and in many cases, interested in the pursuit of a career in art. The work that her students produce is evidence of this support and as a result, we have several winners in the various art contests each year," Pascarella wrote in a nomination letter.
Reid works with students at all grade levels and teaches a variety of courses including art I, photography I, II and II, and Advanced Placement (AP) art history. She also contributes her own work, including photographs of local historic sites, to be displayed in the school building. The MAEA will recognize award recipients at their fall conference Oct. 19 in Montgomery County. Each year, the MAEA recognizes teachers for their efforts in art education in the classroom and within their communities. Awards are distributed at the district and state levels annually, and recognize new, career and retired teachers. For more information on the MAEA, visit http://www.marylandarted.org/.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,700 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 35 caring community schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Connie W. Armstead, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646; (301) 932-6610/870-3814. For special accommodations call (301) 934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.