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Beth Sheets (NW)

Beth Sheets, Lecturer and Student Teaching Supervisor for Bowling Green University, received an Outstanding Art Teacher Award for the Northwest Region in 2009. Since 2003, Beth has served the NW region and state in various roles, including 2017 OAEA Conference On-site Chair, Chair for summer workshops for NW, 2013 & 2008 OAEA Conference Registration Chair and Coordinator of off-site visits, 2003 OAEA Conference Volunteer Chair, to name a few. For nine years (2000-2009) Beth served on the Toledo Museum of Art’s Early Childhood Advisory Board. Nominator Dr. R. Darden Bradshaw notes that Beth has supervised more than 80 student teachers, saying: “To suggest that the face of art education in the state of Ohio has been touched by Beth Sheets would be an understatement. Rather, the face of art education has been transformed by the influence of Beth!” Former student teacher Shannon George explains the impact Beth had on her: “None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the supervision of Beth Sheets. Her number one priority is her students’ interests and needs and treats each and every one of them as if they are her own children. Beth’s positive manner allows learning, growth and development in all areas, inside and outside of the classroom.” This sentiment echoes in Beth’s philosophy, as she states: “I value my relationships with students and keep in contact well after graduation. I believe in supporting their professional journeys.”


Dr. Janice Gallagher (EC)

Nominator Randy Robart says of Dr. Janice Gallagher: “In the book entitled “12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher” by Robert J. Walker, Ed.D., Dr. Walker speaks of being prepared, positive, creative, fair, forgiving, compassionate, as well as having high expectations, a sense of humor, a personal touch, respect for students and a willingness to admit mistakes. If Dr. Walker had included a photo of such people, one would surely find a photo of Jann Gallagher among them. Jann is the person you think of when reading a social media post that states, “a teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart. Active in OAEA, her presentations at conference are rated consistently high. Diane Thorpe, as State Conference Co-Chair, echoes this, saying: “Jann’s presentations are always interesting, innovative, and fun. She continues to donate many hours and ideas with our membership; I eagerly await her workshop proposals as the conference submissions come in every Spring.” Janice continues to serve the state, most recently on the Board of Education of Wooster City Schools as a Policy Committee member, Legislative Liaison, and member of the Communications Committee. Janice continues to teach as a visiting artist since retirement, with no signs of slowing down. She states: “I believe that humans were born to make meaning in their lives. I believe that all people can make art, and beyond that, I believe that all people have an innate need to express themselves by making art. Humans long to communicate in ways that words cannot. We use art to solve problems. Making art fosters creative thinking and critical thinking, as well. Creating art involves taking risks and trusting the process. Creating art also involves studying great art and practicing to improve skills.” These beliefs are reflected in everything Janice does.”


Kate Ungrund (SW)

A 2012 Outstanding Art Teacher awardee for the Southwest Region, St. Ignatius School (K-8) art educator Kate Ungrund has amassed an impressive record of excellence in the classroom as well as service to the profession. In her philosophy, she states: “I believe that education is one of the most important determining factors of a child’s success. Education enables children to experience and learn through problem solving, critical and creative thinking, social relationships, technology, and academic subjects. A strong, well-rounded education provides a child with what he or she needs to build a successful future. As an art teacher, I am excited to be a part of such an important field.” Nominator Susan Ruttle Lawrence writes about Kate: “Her schedule is crazy, but yet she calmly takes on the challenge day after day, year after year, providing her students with an innovative, sequential art curriculum based on the Ohio Visual Art Standards that encompasses art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics. Her students are continually creating, viewing, talking, collaborating, and reflecting on art.” Principal Tim Reilly echoes this, saying “Having known her for so long, you would think I could easily communicate her main strength, but I can't decide if she has more talent, energy, or creativity- they are all outstanding!” Southwest’s Co-Regional Director since 2015, Kate also was the Exhibits Chairperson, Greater Cincinnati Local Conference Planning Committee in 2016 and 2012; Regional Awards Chairperson 2013-2014; an OAEA Conference workshop presenter, 2003, 2009-2013, and 2016; and chair of the Regional Workshop, Nuts and Bolts Lesson Plan Exchange 2012-2017. Her exhibition record too, is extensive, both in Ohio and out of state.


Cheryl Wadden Mravec (NE)

North Ridgeville Middle School art educator Cheryl Wadden Mravec has assumed various leadership roles to enhance the quality of art education in our state. Nominator Laura Tawil describes how Cheryl, as Judges Chair, transformed the process involved in judging while serving on the Lorain County Regional Scholastic Art Committee. She serves on the Northeast Region Ad Hoc Leadership Committee to transform and improve the member experience in the region. As her district Art Department Chair, she also serves as an ODE-trained Mentor Teacher. The subject of a research study to appear in a NAEA publication, Cheryl exemplifies qualities of leadership, community engagement, creativity, and compassion. Recognized as a North Ridgeville Middle School Best recipient, Cheryl’s impact is described by Administrator David Pritt: “Since assuming the position of Department Chair, Mrs. Mravec has brought a calm and unity to the program, K-12. Cheryl’s presence has come at a critical time for the district as it is a district in transition. During this transition, Mrs. Mravec has worked hard to add programming at both the middle school and high school. Cheryl’s leadership has led to the development and integration at the middle school level of a digital art course. At the high school level, Cheryl’s leadership has led to the creation of several courses including photography, ceramics and an AP art course.” Of her practice, Cheryl reflects: “since the beginning of my career I have been drawn to and sought out ‘unconventional’ settings; I find inspiration in the new, the unexpected and unusual; I respect and utilize the knowledge and resources from the past and the traditional. I strive to share this with my students and colleagues on a daily basis.”


Chris Bergert (EC)

Chris Bergert, Canton South High School art educator and 2015 Outstanding Art Teacher from East Central, has served his region for many years. The current Jerry Tollifson Art Criticism Open Co-Chair, Chris also has served as EC Awards Chair (2010-11), EC Regional Director (2012-14), as Elected Board Member on the OAEA Executive Board (2014-15), and on the 2015 State Conference Committee. Chris was also an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Akron (2013-2016), and taught in the Adult Community Education program in Photography for Canton Local Schools. Chris always goes the “extra mile,” even raising funds for his school’s art program by organizing a lemonade wagon at the summer Canton Football Hall of Fame festivities. Nominator Randy Robart writes, “When a teacher is lauded by colleagues for going the extra mile, we smile and applaud, BUT when a teacher is also praised on social media, i.e. Facebook, etc., by former students, you know they have not only taught their subject extremely well, but have made a real difference in their student’s lives.” Former student Kali Madden writes: “Mr. Bergert has a way of teaching that allows for all students to succeed beyond their expectations. His lessons always reach to broaden comfort zones and allow for students to gain new skill sets. Every student has an opportunity to shine with absolute pride. Mr. Bergert teaches work ethic and gives endless opportunities for his students. All students respect him; I think because he is a truly down to earth passionate teacher.” Chris sums up what teaching art means to him: “From empowering students and helping to transform their lives for the better, to becoming a contributing member of the Canton Local community, I have been blessed with a plethora of experiences to serve the people of my district. From encouraging others to take leaps of faith and embracing challenges, to celebrating the accomplishments while learning from adversity, I feel that through teaching art, I have given those around me a sense of abundance rather than scarcity.


Dr. Robin Vande Zande (NE)

Full Professor at Kent State University in Art Education, Dr. Robin Vande Zande is a prolific and active leader in the field and she has become synonymous with Design Education in Art Education, making visible the overlaps between them, what distinguishes the two, and why it is so important that a 21st century comprehensive art education for learners of all ages includes design education. Robin has served multiple terms of President of the Design Issues Group of NAEA (2006-2014) as well as other national and regional organizations. Nominator Dr. Linda Hoeptner Poling writes, “Since the beginning of her time at KSU in the early 2000’s, Robin has worked tirelessly to integrate design education into our program, despite significant challenges brought on by misconceptions and resistance to change. Stakeholders have finally acknowledged the importance of the initiative focusing on integration and collaboration between disciplines, particularly in light of STEM and STEAM national efforts.” Robin co-founded a non-profit organization called DESIGN-ED in 2012. She facilitated and organized three national conferences throughout the country and chaired one international conference. DESIGN-ED is a collaboration of PreK-12 teachers, schools, administrators, universities, designers, organizations, businesses, museums, institutions, individuals, and others supporting design education initiatives in K-12 schools. Of particular importance to Robin is that she teach future art educators how to design curriculum that encompasses life-worthy learning objectives. Robin brings her passion for Design Education into all of her teaching. She says, “Kids are bombarded with messages that tell them to be best, first, make money, look tremendous, have more and better. Those messages promote self-centeredness. I believe that we have to counter those messages with lessons that foster benevolence, caring, and a willingness to understand differences.” 



Division Award Criteria

Nominee for a Divisional Award must:

  • Be a member in good standing and an active participant in OAEA.  Must be present at the annual conference to receive the award.
  • Be active in the field of art education for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Be active in OAEA within that division for a minimum of 3 years, spending at least 51% of their workday within the division for which they have been nominated. 
  • Meet the needs and interests of students in a positive and/or creative manner, bringing about learning, growth and development in all areas, and the development of appropriate objectives.
  • Have developed a philosophy and theory of art teaching that is consistently reflected both in and outside the classroom, i.e. supporting local cultural events, making presentations at OAEA and/or NAEA.
  • Show strong evidence of being professionally active, which may include publishing articles, and/or advocating for art education, and/or creating art, and/ or exhibiting art work.
  • Consider becoming a member of NAEA upon receiving the divisional award, in order to be eligible for NAEA Division Award.
Selection Procedure Timeline:
  • Nomination Forms must be submitted online by the close of the annual OAEA Conference.
  • State Awards Chair will send Materials Request form to nominee by Dec. 1.
  • Required nomination materials packet forms and images should be completed and submitted to the OAEA online awards submission portal system by January 31st.
  • Review and Selection process will take place at March meeting via the Professional Standards Committee.  See Division Awards Rubric below for scoring.
  • Winners will be notified by State Awards Chair by May 1st.
  • Award will be presented at conference.

The Professional Standards Committee (division chairs) review all nomination submissions at the March OAEA Board meeting.