Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) is proud to announce the selection of four art educators as its first cohort of Leadership Scholars for 2014. The TAEA Leadership Scholar Cohort Program is designed to work in tandem with the TAEA Leadership Institute to provide the membership of the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) with innovative, relevant, structured and supported professional growth focused on leadership skill sets to advance art education. The Leadership Scholars were selected from a large pool of applicants and will learn in depth about leadership in art education, service and structure of the Association and how they can grow professionally. The TAEA Leadership Institute is part of the Association's Strategic Plan for its members and future growth and impact. Congratulations to these outstanding art educators and their commitment to growing professionally.
RJ Christensen received his Bachelor of Arts in Sculpture at Brigham Young University in 2006. He completed his MAT in Art Education at Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. RJ taught high school art in rural Wyoming for two years, and then relocated to Houston in 2009 to pursue multicultural art education in a Ceramics-focused position. Now in his seventh year of teaching and third year as AP 3-D teacher, he is focused on the success of his students in competition and portfolio. Involved in professional development, he recently presented at the TAEA convention entitled "The Do-able Wheel Throwing Curriculum," demonstrating how to facilitate student success in pottery. At the convention he also reported on his summer Fund For Teachers Fellowship to New Zealand, where he studied Maori woodcarving and the preservation of indigenous culture through art. He hopes to broaden this study to include other parts of the world. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his family, and is also expanding his personal body of work for galleries.
Paul Kretchmer currently teaches at Graham Elementary on the east side of Austin, Texas. Paul writes "In ten years at Graham I have been a Teacher of Promise, Teacher of the Year (campus level), the general go-to-guy for technology, mentor and friend to some awesome art teachers, participated in several art exhibitions, spent countless hours working with VASE and Jr. VASE, participated in NAEA, TAEA, TCEA, PBS, and a slew of other alphabet soup organizations and initiatives in the district and community. I am a member of the Manor Lions Club, and a past president of the organization where we work to create a better community in our small (but growing) town." Mr. Kretchmer has a BFA in Art Education from Texas State University – San Marcos.
Kelly McGee graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in Art Education, and began teaching elementary art, EC — 5th, for four years in Denton ISD. Over this time, she has worked to become a part of the district's elementary art curriculum writing team, as well as completing her master's degree from the University of Florida in Art Education. Ms. McGee currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and three dogs.
Sarah Waggoner grew up in Arlington, Texas and went to The Art Institute of Dallas, earning a Degree in Graphic Design in 1999. She worked as a Graphic Designer in Dallas before going back to school to study Printmaking. Sarah received her BFA in Printmaking from The University of North Texas in 2004. She writes, "I began my teaching career here in Grand Prairie in the fall of 2007. I taught art at the elementary level for a year before moving to the high school in the fall of 2009. I chose to become a teacher because I wanted to work with people, especially young people. I love their energy. I love helping them, watching them grow as artists, and getting to know them as individuals." Ms. Waggoner currently teaches at South Grand Prairie High School in Grand Prairie ISD.
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