2017-2018 NMAEA Award Winners
Max Coll and Catherine Joyce Coll Award of Distinction for Art Education
Andrea Fellows Walters
Andrea Fellows Walters has been associated with The Santa Fe Opera for nearly twenty-seven years and Director of Education and Community Programs since 2000. Ms. Walters received her BAFA from The University of New Mexico. She brings a deeply-rooted love and appreciation for the performing arts in her work as an administrator, educator, producer, and librettist.
Ms. Walters has served as a director on the board of The Santa Fe Arts in Education Initiative for which she was secretary, on the task force that created New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education (NMACAE) which she co-chaired for two years, and the Santa Fe Public Schools Arts Advisory Council which she also co-chaired. Recently she completed her service to the City of Santa Fe as a member of the working group that developed Culture Connects a cultural cartography for Santa Fe, as well as having served on the City of Santa Fe Artworks Committee, the Santa Fe Public Schools Music Task Force and Advisory, and the New Mexico Alliance for Arts Education which she also co-chaired.
As a librettist Ms. Walters has collaborated with John Kennedy on the opera Trinity and Stephen Paulus on the opera Shoes for the Santo Niño. Last year UnShakeable, an opera written with composer Joseph Illick in commemoration of the Shakespeare 400, premiered in Santa Fe, and in the outpouring of activities for the 400, was among the highly curated few cited by the New York Times. As a collaborative artist, Ms. Walters has had the privilege of working with the Academy for the Love of Learning’s Lifesongs since its inception. In 2004 Ms. Walters was recognized by the City of Santa Fe with a Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. For six years she served as a national commissioner to UNESCO and also served as a member of the Obama Arts Policy Committee in 2008 and 2012.
New Mexico Art Educator of the Year
Elementary Art Educator of the Year
Cinamon has demonstrated exemplary classroom practices, and genuine caring for each and every student in her art room. Students immediately sense that she is someone they can trust, and she provides them with any additional support, modifications, and differentiation strategies in her power to make them feel successful. Her classroom is always set up to create an incredible learning environment in whatever school she is assigned to. She has designed well-organized systems for assessment, grading, curriculum planning, and is always willing to share and mentor others in the department with her expert knowledge of teaching art.
As a professional, Cinamon has shown leadership across the spectrum from chairing the PTA National Reflections program at her school to planning and presenting at the APS Fine Arts Summer Workshop. Cinamon has taught several lesson shares within the Elementary Fine Arts Department and has been the cooperating and mentor teacher for several pre-service and new art teachers. NMAEA was fortunate to have Cinamon serve on the Board as the Elementary Division Director and on the Executive Board as their Secretary for two years. In addition to that, she has presented workshops at several NMAEA conferences. Cinamon was also on the Professional Development committee this last year for the APS Fine Arts department. Throughout her many years in APS, she has been on a committee that created assessable lessons to be used as a resource by new art teachers and a committee that looked at and redesigned the APS Art standards.
She now is working as one of the visual arts resource teachers for the APS Fine Arts Department, where she is an integral member of the office team that supports the fine arts teachers that work with the 89,000 elementary students in APS.
Jessica Parham is a compassionate, talented and enthusiastic art educator that demonstrates sensitivity towards the social and emotional needs of her students at Roswell High School. Jessica immerses her students in community service through public art projects like a mural for a downtown park, saving an old building by creating art pieces from objects found in the building and holding a benefit sale in the building, post clean-up. She also provides “real life” artist experiences for her students by having them set-up, display and sell their work alongside professional artists at the Pecos Valley Potters Guild Art Sale. Jessica coordinates an annual free art program for children at the Roswell Museum and Art Center that is taught by local artists and art teachers.
Professionally, she holds positions on the Board of Trustees for Roswell Museum and Art Center (RMAC) and PRO-Roswell (downtown improvement group). As a founding member, she served on the YPAC (Youth and Professionals for the Arts Collective) board for 2 years and served three years as a member of the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus, Digital Media Arts Board. In this capacity, she participated in program and curriculum development at both the university and secondary education levels. She was Chair of the Career Academy at Belen High School for 2 years.
Jessica continues her volunteer efforts by participating at the NMAEA annual conferences, assisting with the Scholastic Art and Writings Awards at the state level, and taking on the New Mexico YAM chair position.“Community service is an important social responsibility to impart on our students. I approach it with the attitude of “if not you, then who?”
Higher Education Art Educator of the Year
Laurel Lampela is a Professor of Art Education in the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico. She has been teaching at the university level for over 25 years. Prior to her tenure at UNM, she held appointments at Cleveland State University in Ohio and Marshall University in West Virginia. She also taught art at the elementary and high school levels in Springfield, Ohio and Madison, Wisconsin. She earned a PhD in Art Education from The Ohio State University, a M.Ed. in Art Education from Wright State University and a B.S. in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is the author and co-editor of books on LGBT issues in addition to journals writings on Studies and research in art education in an era where social justice and equality are at the forefront. She is a co-founder of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Issues Caucus of the National Art Education Association. Her creative work involves the construction of hybrid realities through digital collages and solar gravure prints. Born near the shores of Lake Superior, she spent much of her life living in the Great Lakes region before moving to the southwest 15 years ago. The western landscape is her muse and she never ceases to be fascinated by the expanse, awe, and majesty of the open space. She presents at the national level and has been an active member of NMAEA and NAEA for over a quarter of a century.
Administrator / Supervisor of the Year
Deborah Fleming, Rio Rancho Public Schools
Debbie Fleming is currently the Fine Arts Director for Rio Rancho Public Schools. She received her degree in Music Education from the University of New Mexico. She has taught music in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. After 17 years as a teacher, Debbie completed her Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and went into administration for RRPS. Debbie is an avid supporter of Arts Education, and is a member of the New Mexico Advisory Council on Arts Education. She enjoys working with dozens of talented and dedicated arts educators who do amazing work with students every day!
Museum Educator of the Year
As a museum educator, Amanda Nicholson has consistently shown strong leadership qualities in the development of programs and working with colleagues and the community. With over ten years of experience in public school arts education and an internship at the Stark Museum, Amanda has focused on cross disciplinary learning, interactive experiences in the galleries, and innovative approaches that integrate key elements of the RMAC educational treasury. She has taken the RMAC resources—the studio art program; the Museum’s incredible collections of art, history, and space science technology; the Robert Goddard Planetarium; and the symbiotic relationship with the internationally acclaimed Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program—and created a cohesive environment for multi-sensory experiences that are rich and inspiring for multiple audiences.
Some of her highest priorities at RMAC have been updating and expanding school tours, creating innovative programming for young children (an area the Museum has previously lacked in) and the parents, establishing inclusive community events, as well as developing STEM and STEAM education initiatives. She also seeks professional development opportunities and ways to contribute to museum education discourse by attending trainings and serving on boards and committees with education groups including the local Arts Connect elementary arts education advisory board, Mountain Plains Museum Association Conference Program Committee and the American Alliance of Museums Education Professional Network (EdCom).Since Amanda joined the RMAC team, she has also expanded the Museum’s public face through multiple collaborations within the community including arts integration into the schools and an evolving STEAM program that joins the various disciplines of science, technology, engineering, art, and math together to create catalysts for inquiry and response.
Besides her work at the RMAC, Amanda is a member of AAM’s EdCom Committee and a 2017 Conference Planning Committee Member for the Mountain-Plains Museums Association meeting in Denver. Her energy, enthusiasm, and savvy in museum and arts education make her an exceptional leader in these fields. Her work at the RMAC deepens and broadens the reach of our museum within the community of Roswell and State of New Mexico.
Art Educator Advocacy for Art Education
With over 21 years of experience, Gigi has been a leader in early childhood art education for the state of New Mexico. She has a remarkable ability to create professional development opportunities that inspire other early childhood educators and support young children’s learning in the arts in profound and innovative ways. Gigi’s work with the children is important to the families as well. They consistently express their gratitude and admiration for the amazing work that she does with the children
For the past several years Gigi has worked diligently to bring art education programing to the youngest of New Mexico's children and early childhood educators. She developed the role of Early Childhood Art Resource Teacher within the Albuquerque Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education. She was the first educator to serve in this role that is unique not only in New Mexico public schools, but also in the United States. She worked alongside teachers in the classroom to offer young children learning experiences designed to expose them to a wide range of art materials as tools for expression, the principles of design, and arts integrated project based learning experiences.
She partnered with the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History to develop a docent training and tour for preschool aged children. In addition to the docent lead tours, she developed a classroom curriculum guide to prepare children and teachers for their museum visit. She also partnered with the Santa Fe Opera has been instrumental in helping to develop The Santa Fe Opera’ Early Childhood Initiative. She has provided the program’s professional development workshops with the pedagogical leadership needed to ensure the workshops are unique, of the highest quality and of the greatest benefit to the early childhood educators that attend them.
"My hope is that the Art Advocacy Award will be an opportunity to expose a larger audience to the importance of early childhood art education for all of New Mexico's young children."
Retired Art Educator of the Year
A teaching artist with 31 years of experience, Judy has taught in the private and New Mexico public school settings. As a retired Judy Miller has stayed active in the art education world, teaching high school students at Aldo Leopold Charter School in Silver City. She involves her students in their community through Mural Programs, creating multiple murals in the city.
“As an art educator, Ms. Miller made her lessons not only fun for the students, but relative to their lives and experiences as well. When the elementary arts program ended at GW Stout Elementary School in Silver city, she continued to teach for five more years,” demonstrating her dedication to the students.
As a professional, Judy took full advantage of every opportunity offered to help her deliver the highest quality Visual Art experiences for her students and support learning across the curriculum. She participated in many programs such as the NMPED Arts Immersion, Professional Development for Art Educators at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, a 12 year partnership on Arts Integration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts, to name a few.
“It is because of a love of art and a strong belief that art plays a large role in the cognitive development of young children that I did this for so long. I know that it works. My hope is that my students will carry a love of art with them, a curiosity and caring for the world around them, and the encouragement to try new things and explore. They are our future. I have done the best I can do, and given the best to my students. Always.”
NMAEA President’s Award of Distinction
I had the pleasure of meeting Heather several years ago at the annual conference in Santa Fe. Like many art teachers, she was more than willing to share her knowledge of art education. I have noticed many times since meeting her when that she is speaking, others are typically gathered around listening to what she has to say.
In addition to always volunteering to present at conference, Heather is actively involved with the New Mexico PED. Last winter, Heather participated in the FAEA winter meeting which is where I learned just how active Heather is in the art education community. For example, she works on committees for the NMPED so all of us may have a better teaching experiences. Heather has spent a few years not only working on the NMPED Visual Art End of Course Exam blueprint, but also has been working to design the test questions themselves.
Heather plays a huge leadership role within her district, organizing art shows for the elementary arts division and the DERT program. Lastly, she tirelessly involves her students in community and state art shows like the Rio Rancho Public Schools Recycle Art Show and the EXPO New Mexico Student Art Show.