Posted: Friday, November 19, 2021

Three GCS Art Educators Honored by SC Art Education Association

Three GCS art educators were recently honored by the South Carolina Art Education Association. Staci Purvis from Berea Elementary School was named SC Art Educator of the Year. Dr. Wonda Hillard from Bell’s Crossing Elementary School was named SC Elementary Art Educator of the Year, and Donna Shank from the Fine Arts Center received the R. Scot Hockman Teacher Grant Award.

Staci Purvis, Berea Elementary

SC Art Educator of the Year

Staci Purvis has been teaching visual arts for 20 years in Title One schools. She is passionate about making sure that her students have what they need and has been awarded grant funding totaling over $18,000. Purvis serves as a lead art teacher for Greenville County, where she facilitates professional development for 69 elementary art teachers and coordinates the district elementary art show. Purvis is the coordinator of South Carolina’s Arts Leadership for Success Academy for first through third year arts teachers. In this institute, teachers are mentored to create standards based curricula and develop the skills needed for strong arts classrooms. Purvis is currently serving as the secretary of the South Carolina Arts Education Association, and will represent SCAEA at the NAEA National Conference in March.

Staci Purvis, Berea Elementary
Staci Purvis, Berea Elementary

Dr. Wonda Hillard, Bell’s Crossing Elementary

Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Wonda Hillard supports arts education at Bell’s Crossing Elementary with her passion for the arts. She brings her own artwork into lessons to model for students. She works collaboratively with local artists to develop a unit of study, and has spent summers in workshops to further enrich students’ lives. She said, “As art educators, we serve as advocates for change by inspiring our students to create, think critically, problem solve, produce, present and see the world in different ways.  We seek methods that will challenge our students to ask, “What would happen if?”  In 2002, Dr. Hillard’s paintings were on exhibit at the Arthur Rose Museum at Claflin University. This year, Dr. Hillard’s work was included in the exhibition, “The Grid Comes Full Circle II,” which focuses on nearly 45 years of studio activities by students.

Dr. Wonda Hillard, Bell’s Crossing Elementary
Dr. Wonda Hillard, Bell’s Crossing Elementary

Donna Shank, Fine Arts Center

R. Scot Hockman Teacher Grant Award

Students at the Fine Arts Center have a strong desire to explore imagery and excel in the visual arts. They are uniquely creative and passionately pursue innovative solutions to course assignments. Donna Shank’s goal is to bring technology into the art studio to help students analyze and interpret art and the imagery that surround them.  With the help of the R. Scot Hockman Teacher Grant, students will use technologies such as Solarplates and printmaking paper. Students enrolled in Design and Photography will learn techniques for printing images using Solarplates and a UV Box as a safer alternative to metal etching plates with acid. Students will be able to use the science behind this process to analyze the effect of their choices on the finished works of art.

Donna Shank, Fine Arts Center
Donna Shank, Fine Arts Center

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