Letters to the Editor

Art teacher deserves award

Regarding “Merrill named art educator of year” (News-Times, Oct. 3), the award could not have been given to a more deserving teacher. Karen Merrill’s high standards and even higher expectations show. The art produced by her students is, quite frankly, amazing.

From year to year and class to class, projects, media, and subjects are ever changing. Her team-teaching approach (subjects taught in the classrooms are incorporated into their art projects) increases the students’ knowledge of a variety of subjects including math, science, social studies and language arts.

Projects often involve themes that can be found in nature because of Oak Harbor Elementary’s partnership with Deception Pass State Park, as well as Native Americans, rocks and life cycles, arrays, landforms in Washington state, and, last year, children’s literature illustrators. According to Virginia Lane, Washington Art Education Association awards chairperson, “The annual WAEA awards are WAEA’s way of recognizing outstanding professionalism, service, promotion and support of the arts by individual art educators in our state. In receiving these awards, recipients also become eligible for future nomination for regional and national recognition.”

Mrs. Merrill’s class is a clinic on how elementary-school-aged art should be taught. Thank you for recognizing this outstanding art educator, who is always quick to credit the passage of the 2001 school levy (renewed in 2005) for providing funding for art instruction to be taught by qualified professionals.

JuLee Rudolf

Oak Harbor

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