Her colleague said:
Whitney works so hard, everyday, to lift the 'underdog' up! She is ALWAYS taking the student that really needs positive reinforcement under her wing to make sure that they are successful. Whitney was responsible for running the southwest Visual Arts Classic, which was very successful and smooth. She also is an advocate for her profession; she continuously communicates with Lodi Adult Art Club and encourages students to submit work for scholarships, mentors students who dream of becoming art teachers and gives up her prep time to work with students who are currently studying to become art teachers.
Here is Whitney's Bio:
I am honored to be recognized as Art Educator of the Month. I am currently entering my 7th year of teaching, 6 of which have been at Lodi High School located just North of Madison, Wisconsin.
Art education has been ingrained in me from a very young age. My mom taught art for 20 years and, from a child’s perspective, being an art teacher looked like the greatest job in the world: you can make whatever you want out of clay, have full access to the glitter cabinet, make art projects in the room during the summer time…. What an easy job, right? I would watch my mom in admiration organizing her room, grading work at home on Sundays, planning field trips and hanging work for shows. I felt so important getting to help out, especially when she would let me make a sample project or write “welcome to art” on the chalkboard in fancy bubble letters. I would draw pictures of what I wanted my own art room to look like and made lists of different books I wanted to have for my students. Once I started spending time in classrooms without being under the direction of my mom, I realized pretty quickly that there is a lot more to teaching than making glitzy, fun art projects (for the record, she warned me about this plenty of times). Being a teacher is hard work! Regardless of the common struggles and nights where I fall asleep before the sun goes down, this job is a job I love. This role is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling.
I graduated in 2010 from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in Art Education. I had an incredible experience learning from the Peck School of the Arts staff members and public school educators throughout the city. I worked in various, diverse learning environments, all of which prepared me sufficiently for my future career in education.
As mentioned earlier, I am employed by The School District of Lodi. I have and still work with some incredibly talented educators and students. I currently teach Art 1, Painting, Ceramics 1, Photography, Photo 2, Independent/Advanced Studio and Film Appreciation. Outside of the classroom, I coordinate the LHS Art Club, coach the Visual Art Classic and participate in various shows throughout the region.
My ideal day in the classroom would be to look up and see students conquering tasks that they were afraid to try, expressing things about themselves as individuals, strategizing plans, humor and laughter, students developing concepts and meaning in their work and of course passion.
Outside of teaching, my favorite thing to do is hang out at home with my husband and two dogs: Sasha and Buckley, a sweet three-legged beagle and rambunctious basset hound. I love the beach, and try to travel once or twice a year. I also enjoy music and movies.