Lancaster earns art education award

From Press Reports

Rebecca Lancaster, teacher at Sumner Hill Junior High in Clinton, is the recipient of the 2012 Mississippi Art Education Association Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year.

She is the granddaughter of Jimmie Joyce Cook Collier, a native of Webster County and now of Cleveland.

Lancaster grew up in Cleveland and is a Mississippi Delta Community College and Delta State University graduate. She also studied with Dixie Wray of Kilmichael and Eupora.

“It’s a great honor for me to have been chosen for this award, especially knowing I was nominated and selected by peers,” Lancaster said. “I am grateful for the support and inspiration that the MAEA and its members continually provide.”

Lancaster has been a member of the Mississippi Art Education Association since 2003, and serves as a board member and the association’s newsletter editor. She is also a member of the National Art Education Association.

The Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year award helps “focus professional attention on quality art education and exemplary art educators,” and helps increase public awareness of the importance of quality art education, according to the association’s Web site www.msarted.org.

“In times of tight budgets and educational cuts, it’s nice to have an organization that promotes art education and art educators,” she said. “I may be biased but I believe that the arts are vital to educating the whole child. They reach across the curriculum and can be incorporated into any subject area. The arts also give students a way to express themselves without saying a word.”

Lancaster received the award Nov. 10 at MAEA’s Fall Conference.