Jodi Thomas, a Thornton Academy art teacher, has been honored as 2019 Art Educator of the Year by the Maine Art Education Association. SUBMITTED PHOTO

SACO — Thornton Academy art teacher Jodi Thomas has been selected as Art Educator of the Year for 2019 by the Maine Art Education Association.

Thomas has taught at Thornton Academy since 2002 and has instructed a wide range of visual art classes. Additionally, she ran the popular Summer Arts for Kids and Summer Arts for Teens camps for many years.

Senior Director for School Administration Carol Taranko supports Thomas in the classroom through Thornton Academy’s Observation, Support, Evaluation, and Feedback (OSEF) protocol. Through this process, Taranko observes Thomas’s classes and provides support to improve the student experience. She recognizes Thomas’s dedication to her students.

“Jodi cares deeply about the success of all students, evidenced not only by her interactions and well crafted lessons, but also through her commitment to the whole child. Jodi considers the holistic experience of her learners, and equally celebrates artistic accomplishments in conjunction with personal milestones her teenage students achieve,” Taranko said.

Thornton Academy senior Megan Bainbridge has been in Thomas’s classes for three years. She currently is enrolled in AP Studio Art, the most advanced class offered in the high school art curriculum. Students in this course prepare a portfolio filled with original work that they submit to the College Board to receive feedback and a score of 1 – 5 for the Advanced Placement class.

Bainbridge said that she appreciates Thomas’s style of teaching.

“Ms. Thomas is willing to help, she allows students space to grow as individuals and to become more independent. I think this is the most notable aspect of the class environment she creates — students are comfortable enough to express creativity, while still understanding the effort that they must put in to succeed,” Bainbridge said.

The Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) is a state-wide association whose members are dedicated to excellence in visual art education.

They award the Educator of the Year award annually and Thomas will be officially recognized at a ceremony at the MAEA Spring Conference at the Belfast Area High School on Friday, April 5.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: