Battle Ground teacher named Elementary Art Educator of the Year

BATTLE GROUND — Andrea Johnston, an art teacher at Tukes Valley Primary School, has been named the Washington Art Education Association’s (WAEA) 2017 Elementary Art Educator of the Year. The annual award seeks to recognize outstanding professionalism, service, promotion and support of the arts by individual art educators in the state.

Johnston is a National Board Certified Teacher Leader, has been a delegate with the National Art Education Association to Cuba, has received a number of grants, and has served on school district committees writing scope and sequence guides and classroom-based performance assessments.

Andrea Johnston, an art teacher at Tukes Valley Primary School in the Battle Ground School District, is shown here teaching a group of 4th grade artists. Johnston was named the Washington Art Education Association’s 2017 Elementary Art Educator of  the Year. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground School District
Andrea Johnston, an art teacher at Tukes Valley Primary School in the Battle Ground School District, is shown here teaching a group of 4th grade artists. Johnston was named the Washington Art Education Association’s 2017 Elementary Art Educator of the Year. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground School District

Johnston has been an art teacher at Tukes Valley Primary in the Battle Ground Public Schools district since the school first opened in 2008. She said that at the primary school, it’s important to ensure that lessons are developmentally appropriate and take students’ interests into account.

“Art creates an opportunity to strengthen students’ sense of community and identity, and I’ve found that you get more buy-in from students when you take the time to really get to know them and their interests,” Johnston said.

After being nominated by her peers for the award, Johnston outscored other candidates on WAEA’s comprehensive scoring rubric to become this year’s Art Educator of the Year Award recipient. The WAEA scorers noted that Battle Ground Public Schools commended her for her collaboration with colleagues, and that numerous letters of support were submitted to the WAEA from her school community — including past and present principals — endorsing her nomination as a candidate for the Elementary Art Educator of the Year award.

“It’s apparent that Andrea loves her job and is passionate about arts education,” said Tukes Valley Middle School Art Instructor Debbie Supplitt. “She understands that visual art establishes a foundation for schoolwide culture, and she works hard to keep students’ artwork displayed throughout the school and in the local community.”

The award will be presented to Johnston during a WAEA gala event in the fall, with the date and location yet to be announced. Johnston will also be congratulated at the NAEA convention next spring at the downtown Seattle Convention center as part of an elementary education luncheon event. By receiving this award, Johnston also becomes eligible for future nominations for regional and national recognition.

More information about WAEA and this award can be found at www.waea.net.

Information provided by Battle Ground School District.

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