2016 Award Honorees

     meDr. Mary Elizabeth Meier is a university professor in art education, printmaker and mixed media artist, narrative researcher, and consultant for professional learning in arts education. She and her spouse, Dr. Scott Meier, and daughter, Abigail, are collaborators in life as art and art for life. They reside in Erie, PA where she mentors pre–service art teachers at both Edinboro and Mercyhurst Universities. Mary Elizabeth works with school districts in the Erie and Pittsburgh regions to lead professional development workshops for art and music teachers in the areas of qualitative assessment, student learning, and the habits and dispositions of creative and artistic work. She is committed to helping teachers design assessments that help to fuel students in their artistic process with the use of pedagogical documentation and the well–timed, specific feedback of an interested adult.
     Mary Elizabeth was born in Colorado and has lived in seven states. She has taught K–12 art in Florida, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She completed her Ph.D. in art education at The Pennsylvania State University in 2012. She currently serves on the editorial review board for the journal of Art for Life and the Art Education journal for NAEA.
She also reviews book manuscript proposals for the National Art Education’s publications and materials committee. Dr. Meier mentors emerging authors in the areas of trans–disciplinary learning and arts integration, arts–based narrative research
methods, and new media technologies.
     In 2005, Mary Elizabeth joined the PAEA Board of Directors as a regional representative. She has served the organization in a number of capacities and has been the recipient of the Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award (2006) and the Outstanding Regional Co-Representative Award (2007) with Kris Fontes. In 2012 she was elected President of PAEA. This October, she concludes her six–year term on the leadership council.
2016 Outstanding New Professional Art Educator 
Beata Szekeres  – Devon Elementary School – Tredyffrin/Easttown School District 
     bsSince her teaching career began, Beata Szekeres has been an inspiration to her students. She has developed a rich curriculum, collaborated with her colleagues and has taken the initiative to infuse her school with art. Her maturity as a teacher is evident in her measured, curious, and enthusiastic demeanor. She uses a variety of methods and many artistic tools allowing her students to experience different artistic methods, and enriching their learning by infusing her lessons with the history of art and its many genres.

     Ms. Szekeres’ summers have been spent teaching art to students, including ceramics at Penn State School of Visual Arts Portfolio Camp, an intense program for high school age students. Additionally she spent two summers as a ceramics and drawing instructor at the Center For Arts and Crafts Summer Camp and as an aide at a summer reading program in her present elementary school position.


PAEA 2016 Outstanding Early Career Art Educator 
Elizabeth Gilly Sims – Barkley Elementary School –  Phoenixville Area School District
     Not only an elementary teacher, Elizabeth Gilly Sims’ career path has led her into a variety of work, including museum education, pre–college classes in metals and jewelry at Moore College of Art & Design, professional development planning, lecturing, and grant writing. In her capacity as Outreach and Public Programs Coordinator at Moore, Ms. Sims used the
Learning Through Photography program, based on Wendy Ewald’s work at Duke University, and partnered with the Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP). Through this she was able to bring literacy and art to Philadelphia schools with limited or no art access, taking students out of the classroom and into the city to explore the social and cultural contexts of urban Philadelphia through writing and photography.
     At Barkley Elementary School, Ms. Sims began a new school–wide concept referred to as Walls that Talk. The halldisplays contain student art and include detailed descriptions of the art projects, student critiques, and also student and staff quotes about the work. Her spring art show featured student docents that were available on each floor to speak personally to families about the works on view. The students also presented information in English and Spanish. As a result of Ms. Sims leadership and creativity, a school–wide mural reflecting the diversity of the school community provided an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, and community members to participate in painting the mural. The fantastic landscape used traditional textile designs, motifs and landscape features from around the world. 
     Ms. Sims has presented and served as a panelist at the local, state and national levels in various professional conferences including NAEA and PAEA. She has had several articles published and is currently seeking publication for a children’s art history picture book
lgPAEA 2016 Outstanding Elementary Art Educator
Leslie Marie Grace – George W. Nebinger Elementary School – School District of Philadelphia
     Leslie Marie Grace is an elementary art educator, actively celebrated by her students and colleagues. She brings a high degree of energy, creativity and enthusiasm to her work. It is Ms. Grace’s unparalleled resourcefulness that makes her truly outstanding in the field of art education.
Proof of her abilities and energy are in the awards she has received, among them, Friends of Nebinger Teacher of the Year 2015, and the BillyPenn.com Who’s Next in Education: Top 16 in Philadelphia 2015. A 2007 Japan Memorial Fulbright
Scholar, she has presented at PAEA conferences and is on the planning committee for this 2016 PAEA Conference. She
is a member of the NAEA Special Needs in Art Education and NAEA Design Issues Group. Additionally she was named in
the National Who’s Who Among Teachers in 2005 and 2006.
     Ms. Grace may be best known for her work with the Philadelphia Art Teacher Alliance (PATA), a group of teachers in the Philadelphia area that are interested in building a community of support, collaboration, and fellowship. Art, new ideas, lesson sharing and classroom management techniques are just a few of the rich topics of discussion promoted by this group. Ms. Grace has helped to promote this group through the use of social media, particularly through the PATA web site she built to keep art educators connected. An active blogger, she uses her classroom Instagram account to promote the arts. She is an advisory board member for the Graduate Art Education program at Moore College of Art and Design, and the Arts Department Chair and Community Liaison in her elementary school. In these fiscally unstable times Leslie Grace has raised over $22,000.00 for her classroom through personal donations and DonorsChoose, GoFundMe and the Dick Blick WishList
dlPAEA 2016 Outstanding Middle Level Art Educator
Diane Lally – South Fayette Middle School – South Fayette School District
     A 23 year teacher with 14 years at South Fayette Middle School, Diane Lally has been enriching student learning in the visual arts in many ways, including collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Warhol Museum. Most recently she has been working with Carnegie Mellon University, where she participated in a program of professional development and robotics training that she integrated into her art curriculum. She also advises her school district’s Junior National Art Honor Society for which she received funding through a grant from the Grable Foundation.
     Ms. Lally actively advocates, and promotes visual arts education through ongoing learning and professional development opportunities, and by taking active leadership and service roles in her school district, region, and at the state and national level. She has been an active member of an arts advocacy group in Pittsburgh, The Arts Education Collaborative (AEC), for which she designed and developed Imagination, a framework for visual art education. Most recently she has participated as a coach for the AEC Pilot Induction Program. Diane co–authored a curriculum guide, 21st Century Visual Arts Curriculum Project K–12, supported by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, The William T. Hillman Foundation, Inc., and the PA Department of Education. In 1992, she was selected from a pool of 700 applicants as one of only 30 teachers to participate in the National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute on Renaissance Humanism, held in Florence, Italy. Ms. Lally has presented at numerous PAEA and NAEA conferences. She was also selected to be part of a team of fine arts teachers to receive the CLO 2005 Charles Gray Award for Special Achievement in Arts Education and serves on her district Strategic Visioning and Planning Steering Committee.
csPAEA 2016 Outstanding Secondary Art Educator 
Christopher Sweeney – Charter High School for Art & Design (CHAD) – School District of Philadelphia
      A ninth grade Design–Media teacher at CHAD, Christopher Sweeney has had a varied and rich 20 year teaching career, mostly in the Philadelphia area. Sweeney is a tireless advocate for his student’s art and for art education both publicly and virtually. He is passionate about combining art and technology in his classroom, continually encouraging his students to explore what art can be and what art means to them. An active practicing artist and dedicated art educator, he uses art to enable his students to gain 21st century skills. In a 3D printing class at a summer math and science program at the University of Pennsylvania, his students learned about the importance of 3D printing in today’s world. They also learned print terminology, gained hands–on experience working with the 3D printer, and over the course of the summer students built their own 3D printer.
     Sweeney’s presentations at the local, state and national levels have included diverse topics such as STEAM for Special Populations, Design Thinking, AET Maker Space Hands–On Explorations, Pinhole Photography, and Makers Slam. These are just a few of the innovative workshops meticulously prepared for and enthusiastically presented to art educators. He is also the coordinator for the Maker Space sessions of this years PAEA Conference Planning Committee.
     Additionally Sweeney has authored an article published in School Arts Magazine in 2014 in which he discussed creating authentic learning experiences for his students. His thesis thoughtfully explored how an art teacher can simultaneously and conscientiously make and teach art. Over the course of his career, he has found that what you do outside of the classroom can be connected to your personal art making and teaching in the classroom. Christopher Sweeney believes in and encourages life long learning for himself and for his students.
woPAEA 2016 Outstanding Higher Ed Art Educator
Wendy Osterweil – Tyler School of Art – Temple University
     Wendy Osterweil has been an Associate Professor at Temple University since 2011 and has worked in various other capacities at the university since 2005. A printmaker and fiber artist who exhibits her work nationally, she has taught over 30 years in a number of schools, including the Germantown Academy, Shorewood Hills Elementary School and the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. As a developer of new programs, she has worked with universities, artist residencies, various workshop venues, and after school programs. Ms. Osterweil teaches professional art education development and studio workshops throughout the region and has presented at numerous NAEA and PAEA conferences. In 2009 she founded Prints Link Philadelphia, a coalition of community arts organizations, art centers, museums, schools, and teaching artists who develop curriculum and projects to educate, promote and exhibit the printmaking of children and teens in the region. She has community arts administration experience at Fleisher Art Memorial and Prints in Progress in Philadelphia. From 2009–2016, she has served on the board of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation whose mission it is to make the arts accessible by giving grants to high quality arts programs in Philadelphia and by providing teaching artist workshops.

     A prolific artist, Ms. Osterweil has exhibited her prints and fiber arts in numerous shows and more than ten galleries throughout the United States. She has illustrated books, book covers, magazine illustrations, newspaper illustrations and Leo Loves Round, a children’s book for Harbinger House in Tucson Arizona. She has been a participating artist in the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours since 2003, an exhibition juror at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a member of grant review panels in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
hfPAEA 2016 Outstanding Museum Art Educator
Heather Flaherty, Ph.D. – Trout Gallery – Dickinson College
     As Curator of Education at the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College, Dr. Heather Flaherty has been instrumental in building the educational program for the college students. She has increased educational opportunities for local school groups with after–school and weekend programs for youth, and for all community members.
     As an Art History graduate, Dr. Flaherty interned at the Cloisters Museum of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Without special training, she began developing programs for special needs populations visiting the Cloisters and found that she had a special talent for museum teaching. With this same innovative commitment, she has grown the community outreach programs at the Trout Gallery with meaningful, interesting and educational programs for a variety of groups. Using current exhibits or specially curated programs, Dr. Flaherty develops high quality programs that are tailored to fit the needs of specific groups. She is particularly committed to preparing Dickinson College students to become leaders in the field of museum education through an internship program that teaches students how to research, prepare and execute programs independently. She develops relationships with her students giving them the tools, resources and support they need to build a solid foundation for a career in art and museum education.
     Dr. Flaherty is also committed to the art community in Carlisle through the Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC). She gives lectures in their. Art Salon Lecture Series, led a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has volunteered at some of their important fundraising events. She regularly teaches classes for CALC ‘s after–school middle school program, ArtWorks!, and this summer she also partnered with them on a new summer camp for children ages 5–12.
agPAEA 2016 Outstanding Emeritus Art Educator
Ann Marie Castelgrande – Scranton School District (1972 – 2007) – Marywood University
     Ann Marie Castelgrande began her career teaching elementary art and traveling to six schools in the Scranton School District where she worked for 35 years. A life–long learner, she completed her Masters at Marywood University and continued to enhance her skills with additional studio classes and educational workshops whenever possible. Ms. Castelgrande has always used her intellect, creativity and dedication to build quality art education programs at the public school level and with pre–service art educators at the university level. She has served PAEA as a dedicated Regional Representative, presenter at numerous conferences and also worked tirelessly on two state conferences, single-handedly chairing the conference in 2007. As an adjunct professor and later as the Art Education Department Coordinator at Marywood University, she supervised student teachers, mentored graduate students and still works with pre–service educators and art teachers through the planning of regional workshops and art events.
     Ms. Castelgrande has been a tireless volunteer for the Ballet Theater of Scranton for 15 years and now serves on their advisory board. From 2010 to 2014 she was a developer of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program with Marywood University and the Scranton School District. She has received many honors, including the 2004 Northeastern Education Intermediate Unit Arts in Education Teacher of the Year and the 1999 PAEA Outstanding Elementary Art Educator awards. Ms. Castelgrande knows how to work collaboratively and when to step forward and lead. She takes responsibility while remaining inclusive, attentive and responsive to the ideas and contributions of all those around her.
cbPAEA 2016 Outstanding Friend of Art Education
Carrie Breschi – Carlisle Arts Learning Center
     In 1992 Carrie Breschi and other community members saw a need to bring more visual arts into the community of Carlisle. This was the beginning of the Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC), a nonprofit entity that enriches the community by encouraging creativity and self–esteem through exploration and appreciation of the visual arts. CALC began offering a variety of courses for children and adults in a number of settings throughout the community, eventually purchasing a permanent home. Ms. Breschi served CALC in a number of positions before taking over as the Executive Director in 2004 after which she developed a failing arts center into a vibrant successful community organization and organized a major capital campaign to move the art center into a historic firehouse, that has proven to be a more effective and efficient space for CALC She oversaw the renovation of this new facility, which is now a state of the art gallery that provides extraordinary opportunities for community artists and arts learning.
     In 2014 Ms. Breschi stepped down as Executive Director to became the Program Director at CALC and since then she has initiated ArtWorks!—an after school program and CONNECT—a summer camp for at risk teens. She has been a vibrant force in the community with many innovative programs, including a collaboration with Dickinson College to develop Works in the Windows a program to place local art work in vacant building windows, and Empty Bowls for Project SHARE which has raised over $50,000 for local food banks through the annual production of 200 handmade ceramic bowls. She has supported PAEA by judging both Youth Art Month flag designs and the Youth Art Month exhibit at the PA Dept. of Ed.. It is no wonder that in 2015, Ms. Breschi was named Volunteer of the Year by Hope Station, an abandoned train station that offers Saturday and after school programs for children in Carlisle.
jrPAEA 2016 Outstanding Regional Representatives
Janet Riggio & Christina Hanawalt – Region 4: South Central Pennsylvania
     Growing connections and communication between art educators was the goal of this year’s Regional Representative award recipients. Janet Riggio and Christina Daversa Hanawalt, from Region 4, used their Facebook page to keep art educators connected with each other by providing programs relevant to their rural south central Pennsylvania region. They posted announcements of PAEA happenings, art exhibits, learning workshops and more. Their planning and implementation of a year–long series relevant to their rural community has made them a perfect choice for our 2016 Outstanding Regional Representatives Award.
chThis inspiring series was connected to the theme Stories of the Land: Exploring the Local as Personal and Political in K–12 Art Education. It was designed to offer art educators in Region 4 an opportunity to learn about issues of relevance to their local lands and rural communities through connections with local farmland preservation organizations and artists, artistic and curricular explorations, and an opportunity to participate in a local art exhibition. Their hope was that the experiences of these events would generate a renewed sense of place that teachers will bring to their classrooms, creating in their students a relationship with their rural community and a responsibility to preserve that community in the future. Four workshops were presented at Hameau Farms Studio and Bald Eagle State Park. Each featured local artists, food, and a culminating art exhibit by Region 4 Art Educators. Juniata College Art Museum and the resulting ceramics workshop in addition to the Hameau Farms project have made Region 4 one of the most active regions in our state.
ts2016 PAEA Fellows – Clyde M. McGeary Scholarship Awards
Tyler Seisler – Kutztown State University and Indira Bailey – Pennsylvania State University
     Currently exploring his destiny within the arts, Tyler Seisler is studying Art Education and the Fine Arts with a concentration in painting at Kutztown University. He prides himself on his personal and positive connections within the student, professional, and local communities. His recent professional achievements include participation in Kutztown University’s NAEA Student Chapter where he serves as President, as well as recently stepping into the Student Representative position on the Board of Directors for PAEA. His fine arts work in both the past and present day emerges out of personal stories, and materials and processes that interest him. He is a firm believer in pushing expectations and guidelines in both the field of education and his personal creations. Without risks, there are no new rewards. Tyler hopes that all his future endeavors will display his pride and array of skill within the ever–changing field of education.
     ibIndira Bailey is pursuing her doctorate in Art Education and Women’s Studies, Gender and Sexuality dual degree program at The Pennsylvania University in State College. Ms. Bailey is a veteran art educator and professional artist with over sixteen years experience. She has taught Commercial Illustration in a Career Technical Program, and has also taught art in community programs. She was a recipient of a Fulbright–Hayes Fellowship to South Africa and Morocco. Additionally, she received a Fulbright Memorial Fellowship to Japan and the Creative Currents Art Residency program in Portobelo, Panama. Ms. Bailey was also a finalist for the New Jersey Teacher of the Year in 2012 and has received national teacher fellowships promoting art education. She has a BFA in Commercial Illustration from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and an MA in Educational Leadership and Supervision from Kean University in Union, New Jersey.