Laura LaQuaglia, Jamie Richardson Win 2020 Georgia Art Educator Awards

Once again, a Cobb School staff member is being recognized at the state level for her work helping Cobb students excel. 

The Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA) named Laura LaQuaglia the Administration/Supervision Art Educator of the Year.  

LaQuaglia, who serves as the Cobb Schools supervisor of learning design and visual arts,  wasn’t the only Cobb staff member to earn a state award. Cooper Middle School art teacher Jamie Richardson earned the 2020 Georgia Middle-Level Art Educator Award. 

According to GAEA president, Dr. Zerric Clinton, these awards recognize a high level of professional accomplishment and service by dedicated art educators. The two Cobb educators exemplify the high quality of individuals involved in the field of art education today: leaders, teachers, students, and advocates who give their very best to the profession. 

The annual awards recognize an outstanding GAEA member at each level for exemplary contributions, service, and achievement at the state level. The awards were presented during the association’s annual convention at Young Harris College in November.   

As Cooper Middle School, Richardson uses both traditional and choice-based approaches to engage students in higher level thinking. Her students have the opportunity to experience self-direction and exploration. Her art classroom is always active and innovative.

She balances teaching art standards and directed assignments with open, collaborative and playful art activities that encourage creativity. When visiting Cooper’s art room, you will find students brimming with excitement and passion for their art, according LaQuaglia.

According to LaQuaglia’s nomination letter, Richardson has collaborated with other teachers at her school to create a greenhouse made out of recyclable materials. This collaboration not only builds bridges between colleagues, but also demonstrates to students how to persevere and work as a team to achieve large goals. The Cooper art teacher also started and organized a found object/recycled art show that has grown to the point that it is now housed at Kennesaw State University during their annual Spring Arts Festival. She has spent countless hours educating students and teachers to see all objects, even what some would consider trash, as possible materials for artistic expression.

Richardson was named the Cobb County Middle School Art Teacher of the Year last year.

” Her dedication to other teachers and her students speaks volumes,” LaQuaglia said. “Ms. Richardson works tirelessly to help her students create, appreciate and enjoy visual art.”

In Cobb, visual arts classes are offered at all grade levels (K-12). Advanced courses are offered at most middle schools and at the high school level. Students in Cobb County consistently place in local, state and national art shows and competitions. 

In 2017, three Cobb educators were named Georgia Art Educators of the Year, winning awards for the elementary level, middle level, and secondary level.  

Related news: The Performing Arts of Cobb Schools