Kansas Art Teacher Awarded for Her Dedication to the “Art of Teaching Art”

Reviewed by Mary McLaughlin, Ma-TESOL; M.S. SpEd

Jennifer Hudson, an art teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School in Kansas City, Kansas, has earned Outstanding Secondary Art Educator of the Year honors from the state of Kansas for the work she has done during her seven-year tenure at the school.

Hudson says that she is honored and humbled by having received the award and that she has made a point of dedicating her career to adding “culture and color” to the lives of her students. She stated in an interview that she is fully aware that very few of her students will pursue a career in art but that she is more interested in helping to mold and shape them into well-rounded citizens who have an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for art in all of its forms. That, Hudson says, is “the more important goal.”

Hudson’s nomination for the award came at the hands of one of her colleagues who submitted letters of recommendation. No other secondary art teacher in Kansas history has ever won the prestigious award which is handed out annually by the Kansas Art Education Association.

Seven art educators working in various teaching capacities throughout the state of Kansas will be recognized during a ceremony to be held next month.

The Kansas Art Education Association takes a number of factors into consideration when selecting recipients for their Educator of the Year awards. Some of those factors include artistic production, leadership, service and dedication to the profession of teaching, and depth of involvement with the KAEA.

According to members of the Association, Hudson was very highly rated in each of those categories and has demonstrated a commitment to “the art of teaching art” and an uncanny ability to show her students the cultural significance of art as it pertains to each of their individual lives.