GayHong was nominated by her colleague at Hopewell Valley Central High School, Lora Durr. In her nomination, Ms. Durr said: “GayHong and I first met when she was teaching at Hopewell Elementary School. At the time, I cold-called her about participating in Mercer County’s YAM exhibit. This call turned into a friendship that I truly value – and has helped to change the path of my own career. From the first time we spoke, I could tell that GayHong was a kind person who truly cared about her students, her school and the field of art education.
The lessons and projects that GayHong brought to the Mercer County YAM exhibit from HES were really exciting. She encouraged her students to use a variety of materials and each example allowed for the student’s personal voice to be expressed. Watching GayHong interact with her young students at the exhibit reception was also exciting – you could tell that her students adored her and her passion for teaching and art was clear. GayHong has recently shifted to a position at Timberlane Middle School where she continues to bring this level of passion and excitement to her classroom. When I’ve visited her room (which is right across the street from my own classroom), it is always full of smiling students who are hard at work on their art. The products of her students’ artistic efforts are personal and impressive. Each child is developing a strong skill set in art but you can also see their understanding of art as a language for communication growing with each lesson. I’m excited to know that GayHong’s students will soon be my students at the high school!”