Cholkas named outstanding art teacher

November 18th, 2010    Author: Staff Report    Filed Under: Community

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!”

New Richmond Elementary visual arts specialist Amy Cholkas named Outstanding Art Teacher for 2010 by the Southwest Ohio Art Education Association.
Cholkas, who has been the art teacher at New Richmond Elementary for the past 11 years, reluctantly accepted the nomination and was honored Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the Cincinnati Art Museum as one of two art teachers selected for the 2010 OAEA's 2010 Outstanding Art Teacher awards. Also honored at the OAEA's awards ceremony was Mariah Campbell Garretson, a visual arts specialist at Lockland.

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.
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