Amy Cholkas’ first impulse was to decline the nomination when informed that she was nominated for he Southwest Ohio Art Association’s Outstanding Art Teacher awards for 2010.
As a regional director of the Association, Cholkas was used to honoring other people for the association’s prestigious award, and felt awkward when told that her time had come to be honored.
“I was honored, but I was very surprised because at the time of my nomination I was OAEA’s regional director and I thought maybe I should decline the nomination,” said Cholkas, who was selected from a group of over 230 art educators in Southwest Ohio.
The OAEA board emphatically responded, “No! No! No!”
Adrian Hawk, art teacher at New Richmond's Monroe Elementary, was one of those saying, "No! No! No!" the loudest when Cholkas mentioned declining the nomination.
"Amy is so very deserving of this prestigious honor because of her dedication to her young artists and to art as a discipline," said Hawk, who succeeded Cholkas as an OAEA's regional director. "Amy is an outstanding planner and develops very beautiful lessons that engage her students. I am very proud to work with Amy here in New Richmond!"
New Richmond Elementary principal Gary Combs couldn't agree more.
"Mrs. Cholkas is constantly working on ideas and
strategies to incorporate art into the curriculum," said Combs. "She is very committed to our students at New Richmond Elementary and we appreciate her dedication."
This is the second year in a row that someone from New Richmond Schools has been honored by the OAEA. Last year, Locust Corner principal Julie Renner received the association's Distinguished Educator for Art Education Award. That award goes to Thomas Bailey, principal at Three Rivers this year.