Carolyn McGrath

Carolyn McGrath has been a visual arts educator in the Hopewell Valley Regional School district
since 1998, when she began teaching at Timberlane Middle School and soon after at Hopewell
Central High School, where she continues to work today. Ms. McGrath believes everyone is an artist
and that her job is to nurture that capacity in her students. Age, experience, language, and/or ability
should not be barriers to success. Whether through drawing, painting, printmaking, or working in
clay, sculpture or mixed media, Ms. McGrath facilitates experiences where young artists can grow
both personally and artistically through artmaking. She is committed to creating an equitable and
inclusive class environment where all students feel accepted, supported, and valued, and where they
see their lives and experiences reflected in the diverse art they learn about and make.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. McGrath has been active in a number of other roles. As the advisor of
Spectrum, Hopewell’s gender and sexuality alliance, she has supported and advocated for LGBTQ+
youth. She has also worked with students as the advisor to the Photography Club, providing
opportunities for students to learn more about photography and exhibit their work. Another one of her
passions is to collaborate with students and other educators to promote sustainability in schools and
in the community. She is the longtime advisor of the Re-Imagine (Reduce/Reuse/Recycle) Club, and
co-leader of the district Green Team, which is currently organizing a weeklong series of events about
environmental justice and sustainability. Outside of her work in these areas, Ms. McGrath continues
to make and show art in a variety of media, including drawing, photography, sculpture, and video.
Her artwork has been exhibited locally at Mercer County Community College, Rutgers University, The
Phillips Mill, and The Princeton Arts Council as well as in the galleries at the Maine College of Art and
Kent State University. Her documentary Contested Territory, a documentary about suburban sprawl,
affordable housing and the environment, won best documentary in the U.S. Super 8 Film and Digital
Video Festival. She is a past recipient of the Geraldine R. Dodge Fellowship for artists/teachers and
a 2021 recipient of the Governor’s Educator of the Year Award