Elizabeth Sims, Outstanding Art Teacher Award

Posted on 08/30/2016
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Elizabeth Sims has been chosen the 2016 Outstanding Early Career Art Educator by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association.  Her award will be presented during the October 2016 PAEA Conference being held in Philadelphia, PA.

Elizabeth Sims is not only an elementary teacher but her career path has led her to museum education both in outreach and special needs programs, The Philadelphia Writing Project, pre-college classes in metals and jewelry at Moore College and as lecturer, grant writer and professional development planning.

In her capacity as Outreach and Public Programs Coordinator at Moore she helped conceptualize an inquiry-based program for the Moore College program called Learning Through Photography.  The program not only explored cultural and social issues, but also the personal lives of the kids as a way of bridging home and school.  Overall, it was a way to bring literacy and arts to Philadelphia schools with limited or no arts access.

At Barkley Elementary, Liz began a new school-wide concept referred to as “Walls that Talk.” The hall displays contain not only student art but include detailed descriptions of the project; student critiques, and also student and staff quotes. Her spring art show featured student docents who were available on each floor to speak personally to families about the works on view. The students even presented information in English and Spanish. As a result of Elizabeth’s leadership and creativity, a school-wide mural reflecting the diversity of the school community provided an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, and community members to participate in painting the mural.  The fantastical landscape uses traditional textile designs, motifs and landscape features from around the world.

Ms. Sims has served as guest lecturer, presenter, panelist, and instructor at the local and state level.  She has presented at two NAEA conferences and a PAEA annual conference.  She has had several articles published and is currently seeking publication for a children’s art history picture book.  We are so lucky and honored to have Ms. Sims at PASD.


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