Please join us in celebrating our Division Award Recipients for the September Member Spotlight!
High School: Jen Braverman, Maple Shade High School, Maple Shade School District
Jen’s was nominated by Lora Marie Durr who said:
Jen immediately impressed me because she exuded passion for the field and dedication to her students. Jen teaches from a therapeutic art education perspective. She uses traditional fine art skills as the starting point for lessons which ask students to link their personal interests to art making. She provides her students with numerous opportunities to display their artwork and connect with the community through events. Jen is a practicing artist whose work focuses on social justice. She has designed and published inspiring, educational coloring books and curates exhibits at a local art space. She is a role model for her students and her peers – as well as an inspiration. Jen’s accomplishments include:
- New Jersey County Teachers of the Year 2016 Cohort, Burlington County
- NJEA SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) Representative
- Welcoming Schools Facilitator, Human Rights Campaign, New Jersey
- Representative The Artist As Activist- An Historic account of artists working toward cultural and social change
- Visual Art Representation of Pop and Rape Culture, presented to Burlington County Coalition for Violence Prevention (BCCVP) Contact
- Presenter at numerous conferences
- Adjunct Professor at The College of NJ
Middle School: Nicole Lawlor, Markham Place Middle School, Little Silver School District
Nicole’s principal, Eric Platt said:
I have had the distinct pleasure of supervising and working closely with Nicole for the past four years and she is nothing short of a Master Teacher. Markham Place is a fifth through eighth grade middle school and Nicole is the sole art teacher. With this large “case load” she never fails to stay fresh and innovative as demonstrated by the fact that she plans new projects for each grade level every year, all with a unique eight point rubric. To the best of my knowledge she has never repeated a project. Nicole also infuses technology into her classroom in a meaningful way. She has embraced the power of social media to collaborate and provide a forum to showcase the students’ abilities. I would encourage you to view her Twitter account (@mrs_lawlor) or her YouTube Channel to see how she authors the story of her classroom. Additionally, Nicole never misses an opportunity to make cross-curricular connections. I have been witness to math, science, art history, and social studies lessons occurring seamlessly with art instruction in her classroom. Students can often be found remarking how an art project helped them succeed in another content area.
Nicole also has a major impact on organizations that help support our schools. She annually creates a new collaborative art project that involves the entire student body. This project is then auctioned off to raise money for school technology through our educational foundation. Nicole creates the project and makes a Google Classroom component of the lesson to track the nearly 400 pieces, she then delivers the lesson to each grade level at one time (typically groups of 80-90 students).
In the last few years, Nicole has begun to share her practice and successes with other educators within the Little Silver School District and beyond.
Elementary Division: Chris Boehm, Whiton Elementary School, Branchburg School District
Chris’s colleague, Rokiah Barry said:
Throughout his teaching career his love of art has not wavered. Chris’ kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms were filled to the brim with interesting and amazing murals and projects. His students’ assignments were, and still are full of color, life and joy! His classrooms have been and still are truly child centered and art centric! Chris’s students are energetic and motivated. He provides a safe, organized learning environment where taking risks is encouraged, self-esteem is boosted and the children thrive!
Chris spends countless hours hanging and matting art work to display throughout the buildings. He is the YAM coordinator for our district and organizes our YAM art show at the Branchburg Township Municipal Building. Chris also plays a major role in the Whiton Empty Bowls Charity Fundraiser. Not only is Chris an inspiration to his students, but to the staff as well. Chris comes in well before school hours and stays after school preparing clay for the students and faculty. He also tutors the Whiton faculty in hand building and glazing techniques. Chris spends an enormous amount of time and energy stacking and firing hundreds of pieces of ceramics, and doing it all again, once they have been glazed. The Whiton Empty bowls event is always successful! Whenever there is an event or need for a volunteer – Chris is always the first in line. He is the ultimate team player!