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Creekside Teacher Jane Montero Named Middle Level Art Educator of the Year by Michigan Art Education Association

September 13, 2021 – Congratulations to this year's Michigan Art Education Association MIDDLE LEVEL ART EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR, Jane Montero. Jane has been the fifth and sixth-grade art teacher at Creekside Intermediate School in Dexter since 2001. She also has served as the Department Chair for Special Areas at her school since 2008. Jane earned a Master's degree in Education from University of Southern California in 1991 and has been teaching since 1989. The first 12 years of Jane's teaching career, she taught in her home state of California; however, the remaining years have been in Michigan. Jane is a 2019 graduate of NAEA's School for Art Leaders and serves as the Elementary Division Chairperson and a region liaison for MAEA.

After the initial Covid-19 school closure, Jane created two-minute short videos on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design for her students to view from home. These videos inspired her to create how-to videos for her newly created digital design curriculum. She presented at Online Art Teachers K12 (OATK12) first summer professional development in June 2020 and the San Antonio Museum of Art Summer Teacher Institute in August of 2020. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, Jane presented at several virtual State conferences, including MAEA, VAEA, IAEA, WYAEA, and Missouri Art Education Association. She was recently one of two keynote speakers at the second OATK12 summer professional development conference. Jane's involvement in online art education and digital design continue to be her passion and she is excited to share her ideas with art educators across the globe.

Currently, Jane is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Innovation at Concordia University Wisconsin (online). The title of her dissertation is Developing Empathy Through Design Thinking in Elementary Art Education and will be defended in December. Jane presented her initial research on this topic at last spring's NAEA virtual Research Pre-conference. Pursue your passions and never stop learning are two of Jane's mottos.

The Michigan Art Education Association's art educator award program is designed to focus professional attention on quality art education and exemplary art educators, to increase public awareness of the importance of quality art education, and to set standards for quality art education and show how they can be achieved. For more information, visit