Elise Hurley is a visual arts teacher at Rollings Middle School of the Arts in Dorchester District Two. She has worked as an arts educator for over 10 years in both elementary and middle school settings. Her teaching experience includes visual art, arts infusion, STEAM, and media arts. She received a B.A. in English and Studio Art from Converse College in SC and an M.A.T. in Visual Art from the University of the Arts in PA.
“I am honored to receive this award from such an amazing artist and arts advocate, Mary Whyte. I am very grateful to Ms. Whyte, SCAEA, and my support community for making this possible. Receiving this award has led me to reflect gratefully on the many coworkers, friends, and family who have helped me become the educator I am today. In my current position teaching gifted middle school students, I play a pivotal role in impacting our future. I strive for students to not just make art but to be artists—to embrace the mindset of inquiry and the creative process as they develop and value their own visual voice. I am particularly passionate about advocating for the needs of our artistically gifted students by helping them recognize, value, and develop their unique abilities. This grant will enable me to purchase specialized resources for advanced curriculum. The additional funds for the teacher will enable me to pursue professional development to feed my own artistic soul as well as enable me to better meet the needs of my gifted students. My students and I are very blessed to receive this generous award. I look forward to seeing the impact it will make now and in the future.” Elise Hurley
"What an honor this is to receive! This is my fourth year at the high school I currently serve and in past years I have fundraised for supplies to give my students exposure and an experience in art that can transcend outside my classroom. I am so excited that Mary Whyte has honored me with this award and funds to serve my students on an even greater level. Many of my students enter my art class without any prior experience with art or the many amazing mediums that are out there to work with. This will impact them tremendously as now I can expose them to so much more! This has been such a challenging different type of school year—this really brightens our little school in a difficult time. I am truly honored that I have been chosen to receive this recognition and award. Thank you so much!" -- Victoria Wade
Mary Whyte presents the 2015 Art Educator Award to Shannon Hopkins Carroll on November 14th at the South Carolina Art Educators Association conference in Beufort. Ms. Carroll received her degree from the College of Charleston, and teaches art at North Charleston High School, where she involves her students in community activities through Art Club, student competitions, and student exhibitions. The Mary Whyte Art Educator Award is given annually to a South Carolina high school art teacher who demonstrates excellence in teaching through creativity, inspiration, dedication and skill.
2014 Donna Shank Major, Fine Arts Center, Greenville, SC
Gibbes Museum of Art Announces 2014 Mary Whyte Art Educator Award
Donna Shank Major is the instructor for 2D and 3D Design courses, teaches in the ARMES program at the Fine Arts Center, and serves as the Coordinator for Explore the Arts summer program. The ARMES program is a tuition-free arts program designed to meet the needs of students in grades 4 through 8 who have demonstrated outstanding talents and a deep interest in theatre, visual arts, strings or dance. Ms. Major grew up in Greenville and was an art student at Fine Arts Center for three years. She graduated from Converse College and continued studies at Converse College earning a Master’s Degree in Education. She has been teaching art for 18 years in Greenville and Spartanburg County, and works in a variety of media and techniques including clay, printmaking, painting, and bookmaking. She has received many grants, including a Fulbright Memorial Fund grant to study in Japan, and fellowships to study at Arrowmont School of Crafts and Penland. Her work has been exhibited in shows at the Art Bomb, Open Studios with the Metropolitan Arts Council, the Belton Juried Professional Show, the Anderson Art Show and the Union Juried Professional Show.
“I am so pleased to announce Donna Shank Major as this year's recipient of the Art Educator Award. Ms. Major is an instructor at the Fine Arts Center of Greenville, and together with the other two state finalists, Josh Drews and Mary Catherine Peeples, represents the finest this state has to offer in art education. South Carolina has most definitely set the bar high in fine art instruction,” says Mary Whyte.
Ashley Webb submitted a lesson plan to encourage students to reflect on their family unit and to create compositions that were organizationally sound as well as visually symbolic of their family unit. This was a very personal lesson for the students and in some cases, the students really dealt with deep rooted issues from childhood to adolescence. Upon completion of the lesson, students participated in a formal class critique. “This critique was one of the most powerful critiques I have experienced in her ten years of teaching. There were moments of joy and laughter and moments of sadness and empathy,” says Ms. Webb.
Ashley Webb earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Clemson University, BFA (cum laude) in 2001, and her M.Ed in Secondary Administration (suma cum laude), from The Citadel in 2008. She is a Member of the Alumni Association, and holds an Advanced Placement Studio Arts Certification. In 2009 she earned a National Board Certification in Secondary Art and has a Master’s + 30.
Robin Boston, a 9th-12th grade art teacher from Stratford High School in Berkeley County received the 2012 Art Educator Award and the $2,500 cash prize that accompanies the award. Ms. Boston submitted a lesson plan Student Inventions: Art and Engineering that was a hands-on, interdisciplinary, reality-based collaboration between visual arts and engineering students based on the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) educational initiative. The project was a cross-curricular unit involving engineering, computer technology, industrial design, commercial art, innovative thinking, competition, teamwork, and creativity.
Robin Boston earned her Bachelors of Art from Charleston Southern University and her Masters Degree from the University of South Carolina. She has been teaching at Stratford High School since 1997 and has been the Director of Berkeley County Summer Gifted and Talented High School Program since 1991.
On May, 2011, I was honored to receive the Mary Whyte Art Educator Award which recognizes a high school visual art teacher in the Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester school districts who has demonstrated superior commitment to their students and to their craft. The recognition and support that have resulted from the Rural Murals Projects have inspired me to continue my work in public art to service both our community and educational institutions. I started the project because I wanted my students to feel a sense of belonging to a larger art community, to examine the artist's role in society, and to consider a career in art to be a valid and significant contribution to the preservation of our culture. As their teacher, I feel it is my obligation to give students experiences that allow them to develop skills and conceptual understandings so they can compete with students who have access to more elaborate art programs. I also want them to realize that money, or rather the lack thereof, is not a valid excuse not to create. I always tell my students, "Artists are born to create and so we do so with whatever we have on hand, or we find a way to get it. Look back in history… artists reflect society, tell stories, and preserve culture. You must do your part." (Annie Purvis)
Anne Cimballa, an art teacher for grades 7, 9, and 10 at the Charleston County School of the Arts received the 2010 Mary Whyte Art Educator Award and the $1,000 cash prize that accompanies the award. Awarded annually by the Gibbes, the Mary Whyte Art Educator Award is designed to recognize a high school visual art teacher in the tri-county area who has demonstrated superior commitment to his or her students and craft. Ms. Cimballa submitted the lesson plan Palette Knife Painting Inspired by the Works of Brian Rutenberg. Students visited the Gibbes exhibition Brian Rutenberg: Tidesong and created original landscape paintings using their own photos of the Lowcountry while painting with palette knives in the style of Rutenberg.
Dayton Colie, who teaches art at R.B. Stall High, was the winner of this year’s award and $1,000 cash prize. This is the second year that this award has been given, and CCSD art teachers have been selected each time. The award is open to teachers in the Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester school districts, and participants must submit lesson plans and examples of work to be considered. Amy Coleman, a teacher at Memminger Elementary, was also named as one of the top three finalists.