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New Teachers Hired and Next Group on Their Way

Viewpoint, View from the Field »
By Jeff Young, Professor of Art, Art Education »

Just like last year, I want to start by congratulating recent graduates who secured teaching positions as art teachers. Each earned the B.A. in Art: Art Education Emphasis with the exception of Jessica Camp (2013 BFA) who earned the MAT this year through UCA.

Hannah Bernhardt, McCrory Schools, K-12
Jessica Camp, North Little Rock Ridge Road Elementary School
Christine Guenard, Cabot High School
Lauren Lee, Alma Middle School
Teal Rea, LISA Academy North, Elementary
Jordan Richard, Sylvan Hills High School
Cody Scrivner, White Hall High School

Peer-teaching in Practicum class. Photo by Jeff Young

The art education program prepares graduates to teach art at all levels (K-12) in public and private schools. An important part of that preparation is the diverse field experience requirements built into all of the art education courses. Experiences include the UCA Visual Art Studio, an after-school art program that takes place each April, and placements with elementary, middle, junior, and high school students in urban, suburban and rural schools in central Arkansas.
This fall, students enrolled in Art Education Practicum are accruing early field experience by working either for one full day or two half-days with the following mentor art teachers: Lisa Fullerton at Vilonia Intermediate, James Scott at Russellville Middle School, Mary Ann Elkin at Benton Elementary, Matt TerAvest and Rodney Bailey at Parkview High School in Little Rock, and Jessica Taverna at Pulaski Heights Middle School in Little Rock.

Art education students enrolled in Internship I this fall are in early field for the same number of hours as those in Practicum and are working with the following mentor art teachers: Lisa Smith at Beebe Junior High, Kristen Sellers at Vilonia Elementary, Amber Cardinale at Bryant High School, Patricia McCauley at Pine Forest Elementary in Pulaski County Special School District, and Thom Asewicz at ESTEM Elementary and Brent Hawley and Shannon Harrison at Hall High School, both in Little Rock. The Art Education program and the Department appreciate the effort our mentors put forth in working with UCA art students. Mentors provide opportunities for these future art teachers to work with students individually, in small groups, and with whole classes; to observe how they organize their classrooms; and to learn how to establish rapport and respect with students.

There are two students in their Internship II, Student Teaching, semester this fall. Brittany Simmons is working with Stacy Hammons at Jim Stone Elementary in Conway, and Taylor Lehmann is working with Brianna Peterson at Bryant High School. During the student teaching semester, the students work with the mentor five days a week for the entire semester. A shout of appreciation to these two mentors as well!

In addition to course work and field experience to earn the degree, to be able to teach in public schools in the state of Arkansas, graduates must also pass nationally standardized exams in both art and teaching. All B.A. art education students are required to take the Praxis Art: Content Knowledge exam prior to their student teaching semester, and then during their student teaching semester, must take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching exam. All K-12 art teachers in the state of Arkansas must complete these tests prior to becoming a licensed teacher.