Pamela Muench, art educator at Lenihan Intermediate School, will be honored as 2013 Outstanding Elementary Art Educator by Art Educators of Iowa (AEI) at the state art education conference on Oct. 12, 2013, in Cedar Rapids.
Muench’s dedication to art education is clear from the letters that were received in support of her nomination for the award. Mrs. Muench received particularly high praises from colleague Karen Roessler and principal Ralph Bryant.
“Pam’s teaching abilities are not limited to those students with an innate love of art or artistic talent,” Roessler said. “I have seen her work wonders with students who have significant behavioral issues, autism, and even the fear of art. Her patience, clear and high expectations, organizational skills, and artistic abilities create a classroom environment where it is safe to create personally authentic art projects.”
Bryant recognizes Muench’s efforts beyond the normal classroom responsibilities.
“She works in collaboration with our Extended Learning provider to offer targeted enrichment opportunities for those with advanced abilities,” Bryant said. “These opportunities have included a Reach Out Iowa service-learning mural that is now on display in our student commons following a presentation ceremony with the community. Mrs. Muench helped work in conjunction with our Public Library to create a permanent display entitled, ‘The Homework Machine’ that allowed many of our students to contribute.”
“I am lucky to have a job that I love,” Muench said. “I get to help students learn through art endeavors. We can get our hands messy and create! Art is so important for teaching creative thinking and problem solving skills. Its importance can be often overlooked. The Art Educators of Iowa organization has been a wonderful support for me through professional development opportunities and collaboration with other outstanding art educators. They promote the arts in education and provide an outlet for students through the annual Youth Art Month exhibit at the State Historical Building. I am very honored to receive this award.”