Kansas Art Teacher Presented with Master Teacher Award

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

Darin Fischer has been an art educator with the Lawrence School District in Lawrence, Kansas for nearly twenty years. He has been described by his colleagues throughout the district as the consummate teaching professional and “exactly the kind of teacher you would want your own kids to have at some point during their school years.”

Fischer has been teaching art at Prairie Park Elementary School since 1998 and his dedication and commitment to the craft of teaching art was recognized recently when he was named the 2014-2015 Lawrence Master Teacher, an award presented annually to an educator in Lawrence who demonstrates “outstanding work in the classroom.”

Fisher was presented with the award at a surprise assembly in the Prairie Park auditorium. Only a handful of administrators and fellow Prairie Park teachers knew that he was receiving the award. Fischer became outwardly emotional when he was presented with the award and told the room full of students that “the reason I get up in front of you every day is because I know how awesome you are and you make my job pretty awesome.” He also noted that throughout his tenured career teaching art he has enjoyed seeing his students grow and mature from taking his classes and eventually “become great adults [and] become great artists.”

Fischer spent five years teaching art in the Fort Larned School District – also in Kansas – before joining the Lawrence School District in 1995. He earned his associate’s degree as well as his bachelor’s degree in art education prior to beginning his career and was praised in the Lawrence district press release for being “active in the district’s equity work, [for mentoring] new art teachers and [offering] his support in curriculum design and standards alignment.”

Prairie Park Principal David Williams described Fischer as “a natural teacher and a gifted artist who makes even the most reluctant student artist feel empowered by the techniques he uses during his art lessons.”