We are delighted to announce that the New York State Art Teachers Association named Ms. Joni Eaton the New York State Art Educator of the Year for Region 4. At NYSATA’s 74th Annual conference in Binghamton last month, Ms. Eaton was awarded this honor for a region encompassing Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
“There is no greater testament to her extraordinary and exemplary contribution than to be recognized by peers and administrators,” noted OXAC High School Principal Dawn Hover. “We always knew how wonderful you were, Ms. Eaton, and now the State knows too!”
An art educator at Oxford Academy for over 20 years, Ms. Eaton teaches High School art students at all levels of experience and in a variety of media. Student art appears regularly on school bulletin boards and table tops all year long. Art shows are integrated into all High School music concerts, and she works with fellow Oxford Academy Art Educators on an all-grades public exhibit held annually at 6 On the Square, the arts space and music venue in the center of Oxford. Student work is also entered in a variety of competitions, from Colorscape Chenango Arts Festival to art contests sponsored by legislators. “She puts a tremendous effort into sharing her students’ artwork with the community,” noted MS Art Educator Charity Gipp.
The value of art education may appear to be measured by the outcome–a drawing in a frame or sculpture on the exhibit table–but this area of study is about far more than beauty. How do you get to the beautiful or surprising part when making art?
Art students are all about discovery: that practice makes a difference, small adjustments have large effects, there is creativity in collaboration, you can take several paths when approaching art problems, all problems have more than one solution, and constructive criticism can be handled. These are skills for a lifetime.
About her award, Ms. Eaton said, “I felt overwhelmingly humble and honored.
I am thankful for my students because with them I am fulfilling my great passion for
lifelong learning, teaching, and doing art!”