Dave Pawl has been educating art students for over a decade at Watertown High School. He has been a leader in his field through his writing of curriculum, teaching and writing AP Studio Art and AP Art History. He teaches his students with wisdom and humor. He just wrote Wisconsin’s first DPI Crosswalk for AP Art History (credited in art and history). He leads through example. His openness and welcoming smile are always followed by relatable humor and humility.
Dave stands out from his peers because he is always level headed and thoughtful. He strives to continue his education and stay current on issues facing art educators as well as staying current with his students. Dave works hard to connect the community and the students. He is President of the Watertown Arts Council and is department leader.
He has excelled in promoting positive student relations, teaching and increasing student achievement, community involvement, and/or inspired others through many of the following things he's facilitated:
- The WHS Art Dept. participated in Youth Art Month. Five students exhibited their art at the SW WI Regional Art Exhibit for Youth Art Month in Common Wealth Gallery in Madison. Three of these artists won an award and their artwork is being to go onto Madison to be displayed in the State Capital as part of the Youth Art Month exhibit.
- The WUSD Youth Art Month Exhibit was on display at the Watertown Public Library in February and March. There is currently an additional WHS display in the windows at 208 South Third Street.
- WHS Art Department routinely welcomes former students and guest artists to discuss their careers as artists in the art classes. Alumni reflect about their experiences at art school and share their portfolios. Students learn about art careers directly from the artists in their community. This year WHS welcomed three guest artists: professional airbrush artist Mark Kerttula, a St. Louis based artist and WHS alumnus Sarah Bernhardt, and Milwaukee based artist and alumnus Sara Zoellick. Leah McNutt, WHS art alumnus and current fine art student at UW-Stout, came and shared her portfolio of animations and drawings. She INTERACTED with students and reviewed their work.
- Current AP Studio Art students had their portfolios reviewed by a representative of MIAD and the Savannah College of Art and Design.
- THE AAUW, Watertown Art Council (Dave is the President), and WUSD Art teachers sponsored guest artist, Geri Schrab. Schrab is a creator of rock art who collaborates with art teachers to teach students about petroglyphs and pictographs. Students enjoy viewing Schrab’S work, and also work from Native American tribes. After studying the work and discussing it, students brainstorm their own piece. On the first day of this two-day class, students create a watercolor wash, and use various techniques to create a “rock-like” texture. Day two consists of drawing and painting their own petroglyphs and pictographs. If time allows students write a poem to accompany their work. The classes offer a unique experience; the art department encourages all students to participate!
- There are two ways for art students to earn college credit at WHS. This year Advanced Placement Studio Art was offered for the first time; this replaced the previous Senior Portfolio course. AP Studio Art is a year-long course where students make a portfolio of art to be reviewed by the AP Board for college credit. Another opportunity for students to get college credit is with the WHS AP Art History course. This course was redesigned and audited this year; finally it was approved to be a crosswalk course. WHS students electing to take AP Art History can now apply it as a social studies credit or an elective credit. WHS AP Art History is the first social studies/art crosswalk course in Wisconsin!
- For the 11th year in a row, the AP Art History class took a trip to New York City to visit world class museums, cultural historical centers, and attend a Broadway show.
- WHS Art provides opportunities for real world learning through class trips to the Linden Sculpture Gardens, Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Oriental Institute in Chicago.
- The WHS Visual Arts Classic (VAC) (Dave is the advisor) team placed 1st in the team competition at regionals and also took 1st place in the art quiz bowl competition. The team competed against 10 teams at the regional level in the individual production of art categories, team problem solving, art history quiz bowl based on this year’s theme of “art and science”. The team advanced to VAC State competition in Madison on April 8th and took 3rd place overall and 4th in quiz bowl at Edgewood College in Madison. The team competed at State; in the individual categories the team earned 7 Gold medals, 5 Silver medals, and one bronze medal.
- The WUSD Art Department connects with the surrounding community. Community collaboration and connection with WUSD art students is valuable as it can transcend differences and divisiveness.
- WHS Art & Partnership Bank collaborates to feature the WHS Art student of the Month in their lobby. The bank displays the student’s artwork and posts an article in the newspaper.
- The WHS Anime/Manga Club (Dave is the advisor) allows students to share their passion for Japanese animation comics and games. Jon Kangas, a WHS Alumnus who lived in Japan for a semester, visited the club teaching them about Japanese art and culture, as well as offering free lessons in basic Japanese language.
- For the fifth year Partnership Bank and WUSD collaborated for a Piggy Bank Contest. Students from grades created piggy banks from clay and cardboard. These banks were on display, and then were judged. This was an opportunity for K-12 students, parents, teachers, and the public to gather and celebrate the artistic achievements of students in Watertown.
- Collaborative community projects are important to the art department. The WHS painting class(Dave is the instructor) illustrated and painted the ceiling tiles of Meeting Room 1 at the Library.This room is used for Children’s story hour and is now very inviting with the illustrations of popular characters from children’s literature featured up above.
- The WHS advanced painting class (Dave is the instructor) connected with the residents fromHeritage Homes Assisted Living. Students were able to meet, converse, and work on observational portraits of the Heritage guests . The seniors share wisdom and stories with the teenagers; the experience provides a resource of inestimable worth.
- This year was our 3rd Annual Arts, Beats & Eats, the WHS Arts Festival held in January. The free community festival included extensive displays of the visual arts as well as musical and spoken-word performances. The Watertown Arts Council and community members sponsored Photography Student Awards of Excellence; the awards were presented to the artists during the festival. There were interactive art opportunities for the younger youth attending the event.
- The Watertown Arts Council and WUSD Art Dept. are teaming up for the 6th Annual Watertown Art Walk on May 31st. Our goal is get exposure for the fine arts in the community, while helping to stimulate economic development in downtown Watertown. The community is invited to come downtown and walk up and down Main Street visiting the businesses that are hosting artists. This event is a volunteer/donation event and is free for all to attend, participate, and enjoy. The Art Walk will include WUSD elementary, middle school, high school, and collegiate alumni artists and photographers, as well as local artists. The 12th grade art students will be featured in the Senior Show at Partnership Bank. The awards ceremony will be held at 7:15pm in the Partnership Bank lobby. Senior art awards, photography awards of excellence, student purchase awards, Art Letters, UW-Green Bay Art Club Scholarships will be presented; the National Art Honors Society Officers will be honored.
- The students at WHS participated in the 4th annual Art On Main Banner project. These one-of-a-kind banners hang from the lamp posts on Main Street throughout the summer. Winners are chosen via ballots which can be cast during the Art Walk.
- The art department is pleased to announce its affiliation with the National Art Honor Society; a new chapter was initiated at Watertown High School. The new chapter is sponsored by Mr. Pawl and Mrs. Strobel. The NAHS created a great deal of excitement and buzz amongst Watertown’s developing artists. The WHS chapter is proud to announce 24 new inductees did meet the criteria and were inducted at the Spring Into the Arts Festival held at the Watertown Elks Lodge in February.
- Watertown Arts Council (Dave is the president) Spring into the Arts Festival hosted by the.
- This year at the Wisconsin Art Education Associations Fall Conference, WHS Art Educators Mr. Pawl and Mrs. Strobel were invited to be presenters. They described the successful WUSD’s Art community collaboration projects and discussed the steps necessary to set up AP Studio Art and AP Art History courses as well as the College Board audit process. The WUSD Art educators dedicate time and energy to collaborating with other art educators in the state and beyond with the goal of improving and expanding the art opportunities for the students of WUSD, as well as their own continuing professional development.
Students commented on the following when asked about Mr. Pawl...
He works every day to help us in all aspects of art and really has made an impact on me both as an artist and student. He always give 110% into his teaching – Sarah Bradow
He pushes us to work to our full potential and never gives up on us – Rebecca Vandersommen
Mr. Pawl is always encouraging and helpful. He always has something constructive to lay in order to help me improve my art. He has the greatest sense of humor that makes coming to his class the best part of my day. He is always inviting and kind and he has genuine interest in all of his students. Not only has he helped me in the classroom, but he has helped me with issues in my personal life. I know I can trust him and confide in him if I need to. – Emma Sherman
CONGRATULATIONS TO DAVE PAWL ON THIS WELL DESERVED HONOR!