Teacher: Christina Dresang
School: University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Biography: Christina has been an art teacher at our school for the past 7 years. She was the K-12 department chair and award recipient for teaching and learning.
Why she was nominated: Christina is a constant learner, leader, and citizen at our school. She is always looking to better herself as a teacher and artist. The art studio at our school has been transformed to utilize best practices in teaching, standards, and has a focus on TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior - a passion of Christina's). The artwork the children create are beautiful and, most importantly, the children are able to articulate their learning to anyone who may ask. For many teachers, if they were asked to create a unit of study about Mount Fuji, or about the famous Milwaukee landmarks, or even X, Y coordinate grid maps or even a unit about the famous painter Kandinsky, they may say that’s a lot of work. Lucky for us we have a faculty member who is able tie together all of these classroom topics within her art classroom. Christina Dresang has the unique ability to integrate art curriculum into any classroom unit of study. The lessons she plans are designed with a growth mindset allowing children to learn, experiment and create their own art. At each art exhibition children are excited to share their projects with family and friends and are proud of the quality of work they produced. The collaborative piece of art in this dining room is an example of Christina’s priority for child-centered art.
I've worked with many art teachers who have projects that happen each year for a particular grade level. Christina is able to teach the standard, but engage the children in a manner that truly gets them excited for art. Each year I see new projects on display and children of all ages want to showcase their work to families. Additionally, Christina connects with our local community to showcase artwork from various community groups, racially diverse artists, and thought provoking media. She even took a group of children on a walking tour of Milwaukee to view the large building murals on display throughout the city. She is continually looking to make art relevant to children by connecting them with local artists who make a difference in our own community. From an oral story teller from the Oneida Nation sharing the art of corn husk doll making to working with the Pfister Artist In Residence, her connections allow our children to think about art beyond the materials in the classroom.
Nominated by: Michael Tauscher
Congratulations Wisconsin Art Education Association Art Teacher of the Month: Krystina Fuhher!
School: Palmyra-Eagle Middle/High School
Nominator: Joel Tortomasi
Why she was nominated:
Krystina has gone above and beyond for her students for the last three plus school years. It was not easy to begin teaching at a new school amidst a threat of dissolution followed immediately by a global pandemic. A few key notable contributions to the school and community in the past few years: She has taken on the duty of Yearbook Advisor. She has hosted the Trailways Conference Traveling Art Show and grown the Visual Art program within the high school while enabling middle school students to find the artist inside of themselves. At the conclusion of the year Ms. Fuhrer's classes created chalk art in front of the High School for all to enjoy as they left the building for the year and could also be appreciated by the community/visitors for the HS Commencement Ceremony. The biggest project that stands out is her organization of a community art mural for which students had to submit designs. Krystina guided students as they painted three different portions of the entire facade of a major downtown business recognizing and honoring the rich history of Palmyra and its famous healing waters.
The incredibly deep connection she is able to forge with students. The way in which she is able to motivate and enable students to believe in themselves and their abilities in their artwork, their other academic courses and in their daily life.
The Community Art Mural is certainly something that stands out and has received rave reviews from community members, visitors and has created a sense of pride in students and staff.
A little bit about Krystina: Krystina Fuhrer took on the role of Art Educator at Palmyra-Eagle Middle and High School in the fall of 2019. She hails from Beloit, WI and loves all things relating to "The Office". Has been known to decorate some incredibly impressive cakes and like all amazing people Krystina loves "Pretzel Day" and Bob Ross.
Hey Wisconsin Art Education Association members. We know you have amazing and relevant art experiences to share at our Fall Conference in Red Wing, Minnesota in October... make sure you submit your conference proposals by June 1st!!
We are so excited to be pioneering this idea of working together with the Art Educators of Minnesota to network and build our professional community as well as uplift and inspire each other. Expect this conference to be full of time to connect, create, and collaborate!!
We all have great ideas, techniques and information to share. What's yours? Submit a session proposal today!
Congratulations Wisconsin Art Education Association Art Teacher of the Month: Justin Markgraf
School: Unified School District of Antigo, Antigo High School
Nominator: Jill Fortin
Why he was nominated:
Justin is an example of a great teacher who always puts his students first. He is a role model to so many of his students and he takes the time to build relationships that encourage students to be the best members of the school that they can be. Justin is a very vocal advocate for all students. Justin is artistic and extremely creative.
Justin Markgraf runs an awesome art club with over 50 members and enjoys taking them on trips to various galleries and club events and campus visits. Justin is very active in his community. Some examples include: Justin is the Art Department Chair Justin is a member of the E-MLSS District Team He is a RTI District Coach, PBIS District Coach, District Technology Coach and Art Club Advisor Creative Director of Annual AHS Musical, where he does set design
Justin has taught Art to 8-12 in the Antigo school district since 2014. He specializes in the 3-D arts and really excels at teaching Art Metals, Sculpture, and Ceramics. Justin is an established potter and owns his own Landscaping company.
Congratulations Wisconsin Art Education Association Art Teacher of the Month: Trisha Branson
School: Waupun Area Junior-Senior High School
Nominator: Cassie Johnston
Why she was nominated:
Mrs. Branson should be considered for Art Teacher of the Month by the Wisconsin Art Education Association because her dedication to her passion in the profession is inspiring to all around her in the community. She empowers her students to take artistic risks and go on a journey of discovery with her. She works with them and guides them to develop their skills and grow in confidence.
Mrs. Branson's ability to connect with her students is what puts her on another level above her peers. Whether you're a young child, novice artist, or advanced in your artistic education; Mrs. Branson is able to inspire and guide all minds to find their passion.
Mrs. Branson's teaching career centers around the empowerment of her students. She has a strong passion to educate young minds and help them blossom on their artistic journey. She takes the time to build positive relationships with all of her students and is a strong advocate of the arts. She is a resourceful and imaginative art teacher with 17 +years of experience teaching at the Elementary/High School/College Level. She holds a double bachelor's degree in Graphic Communications and Art Education. She uses this to share her passion for both digital and fine arts. She is trained in a wide variety of artistic mediums and has spent the last 6 years inspiring students at the Waupun Area Junior-Senior High School. She enjoys teaching the arts and advising Junior high yearbook staff.
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