Our February Member Spotlight is Megan Hawthorne! Megan is an art teacher at Highland Park Middle School and she was nominated by Antonia Germanos.
We asked Megan to tell us about herself and her teaching:
I’m in my 13th year working at Highland Park Middle School and 14th year in education overall. My teaching approach revolves around building relationships with my students and addresses my curriculum with an emphasis on diversity. Skill level, life experience, and learning style all factor into the individual learner and I feel grateful that art is the perfect vehicle to reach my students. I am also very lucky to work in a town with a deep appreciation for the arts and strive to facilitate a connection to the community as a whole with my students. Projects like starting a #highlandparkrocks program and hosting a family paint night, as well as establishing a Community Arts Club has helped build this relationship. This year we are participating in the “Windows of Change” project with artists from the community and the neighboring city in collaboration with Mason Gross School of the arts. The goal of this project is to create works of art that demonstrate ways that we “see through hate” displayed in business windows throughout main streets in Highland Park and New Brunswick to be unveiled January 21st- February 28th. Our ambitious project involves covering the cafeteria windows with an illustration we have named “Pathways to Love,” using transparencies covered in tissue paper to give the appearance of stained glass on over 540 assembled transparencies. We hope the installation will continue to promote the importance of understanding the intricacies of diversity in the Highland Park community and impact our students in a meaningful way. These are a few of the things that inspire me and my work as an artist and art teacher, a job that I feel lucky to have and challenges me to be creative every single day.