The Georgia Art Education Association looked over the entire state of Georgia for outstanding art teachers. The association found the three school-level Art Educators of the Year inside the Cobb County School District (CCSD).
The Elementary Level Art Teacher of the Year, Merry Mullins, teaches at King Springs Elementary School.
The Middle Level Art Educator of the Year is Kerri Waller of Simpson Middle School.
The Georgia Art Education Association’s Secondary Art Educator of the Year is Kathleen Petka from Walton High School. Petka was also named the State-Fish Art Educator of the Year.
“To have the Georgia Art Education Association select Cobb teachers for all three levels of recognition is unheard of,” said Laura LaQuaglia, CCSD Supervisor of Learning Design and Visual Arts. “This is a tremendous honor and a testament to the outstanding visual arts education we offer here in Cobb. The Visual Arts are a necessary and integral part of a child’s education leading to enhanced creativity and critical thinking skills. The study of art leads to increased empathy, cultural awareness, and the development of collaborative skills necessary in our global world. By providing students with an individualized connection to learning, the visual arts build student self-esteem and identity awareness, which lead to personal success. Without the talented and dedicated instruction from exceptional educators, this would not be possible. Many thanks and kudos to Cobb’s own Merry Mullins, Kerri Waller, and Kathleen Petka, GAEA Art Educators of the Year!”
The school board and Superintendent Chris Ragsdale recognized the three Art Educators of the Year during the September 14 board meeting.