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Lewis Receives Outstanding Art Teacher Regional Award

By MINDY MCKENZIE
Daily Globe Staff Reporter

SHELBY- Shelby High School art teacher Patience Lewis has made her name well known throughout the region after receiving a prestigious award.

Lewis was declared the victorious winner of the Outstanding Art Teacher (OAT) of North Central Ohio at the Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) Conference in Columbus last week. In order to receive this award, the contender must be nominated.

Lewis shared Mary Haas of Lexington was the individual who decided to throw Lewis' name into the mix.

"Mary (Haas) did warn me and let me know that she was going to nominate me," Lewis shared. "She told me I am always really positive with different things, but I really didn't think anything about it."

Lewis noted there were three other nominees who were in up for the award.

According to the OAT criteria, each nominee must meet some of these standards in order to win the OAT award: display commitment and dedication to their students, must meet the needs and interests of students in a creative manner which will bring about learning and growth and development, must research current issues in the art field education, be involved with developing innovative curriculum, show educational leadership, be professionally active by publishing articles surrounding art education, continue to create art and exhibit their own artwork, and must have completed at least five years of experience with art education.

In addition, Lewis also had to submit two letters of recommendation in order to win the award. Lewis revealed the two letters came from Superintendent Tim Tarvin and former art teacher Carol Edgar.

Lewis explained she has been an art teacher for the past 18 years and has been with Shelby City Schools for 11 of those years. She started her career as the Shelby High School art teacher during the 2013-2014 year.

Along with being an art teacher, Lewis was also a co-regional director alongside Carmone Macfarlane. Lewis explained regional directors plan and organize workshops, newsletters, and social events throughout the entire North Central Ohio region.

"We are also on the state board for the Ohio Art Education Association. So, we go to these meetings in Columbus and find out different things going on in the art world," Lewis shared.

Lewis said her term as co-regional director would be ending in December 2014.

When Lewis was declared the winner of the award, she revealed how she felt.

"I was very surprised, especially when they had nominated people who had been teaching for over 30 years," she said. "I was just surprised that I got voted. It was nice because Mr. Tarvin came down and so did my family. It was fun, but I was really nervous."

Haas and Macfarlane provided information at the conference on why they believed Lewis should be the winner. Lewis revealed there were several hundreds of people at the conference.

"The award is a manikin that is gold and it says 'Outstanding Art Teacher'. You can have the manikin do different poses and it is really cute," Lewis said.

Lewis explained she decided she wanted to become an art teacher after she was inspired by her own high school art teacher.

"I saw him teach people how to do things that they didn't think that they could do. I wanted to be able to do that for kids," she said.

"Another reason why I like it is because you can do a lot of different things with art instead of just having one specific focus," Lewis noted. "I personally really like painting and I like working with the kids to get them to express their own ideas and go further than they think they can."

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