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Fisher/Woodbury Art Teacher named AEI Art Teacher of the Year

The Art Educators of Iowa (AEI) is proud to announce that Maggie Parks, of Fisher and Woodbury elementary schools in Marshalltown, is this year’s recipient of the AEI Art Teacher of the Year Award.

Mrs. Parks received National Board Certification in 2000, then spent the next decade serving her profession through the Iowa State Education Association, AEI, and the National Art Education Association (NAEA). She has served on the AEI board as Treasurer, Mentorship Co-chair, President-Elect, President, and is currently the Past-President. She has attended multiple NAEA Delegate Assemblies plus Leadership Forums and training sessions in the NAEA’s Western Region. This level of dedication is needed as art educators work to articulate the needs of our students and the purposeful contributions visual art programming can achieve.

Mrs. Parks was a highly effective president. She kept the organization vital and active. Under her presidency, long range planning and goals were updated and implemented. Mrs. Parks has been instrumental in the implementation of a statewide first year art teacher mentoring program which is made possible through a cooperative grant with the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education and the Iowa Department of Education.

Mrs. Parks is a reflective, persistent and skilled leader, mentor and role model.  Her ability to comfortably relate to all peoples—children, professional peers, administrators, advocates and policy makers at the local and state level–is guided by an innate understanding of human behavior and environmental contexts. Both skills have been instrumental in AEI’s recent growth and solidity and in moving our state towards the discussion and writing stage of Arts Literacy Standards. She listens, absorbs, ponders and acts in quiet, focused ways bringing goals and vision to fruition.

AEI named Mrs. Parks Outstanding Elementary Art Teacher in 2004 and The Optimist’s Club gave her the Golden Apple Award that same year. Mrs. Parks is a talented educator, using her training in innovative teaching practices, classroom management, and knowledge of art education to create an engaging and creative classroom environment where authentic learning takes place. Maggie Parks’ understanding of art education, and the high expectations she has for her students translate into a quality program with students who are excited about the work they do in her classes.

Mrs. Parks is also an active artist. Her altered books, pine needle baskets, pottery, and art quilts have been on display in 11 different art exhibits in the last 4 years. She is an active member of the Iowa Art Quilters, and continues to take classes in a variety of art techniques. Mrs. Parks shares her own enthusiasm for learning with students, the school communities she serves, and fellow art educators across the state and country.