Kathy Cawthron, Principal at Claude Berkman Elementary Arts Integration Academy has been named the 2018 Texas Art Education Association School Principal of the Year. Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) is the largest state professional art education association in the nation and annually they recognize members from across the state with awards in various divisions. Awarded to one non-TAEA member of an Elementary, Middle School / Junior High School or Senior High in the state of Texas. The principal should have demonstrated unusual support for art education and for the visual arts. Assistant Director of Visual and Performing Arts, Tim Lowke says “Mrs. Cawthron sees the integration of the arts into other curriculum areas as a way of reaching students and building greater engagement. Kathy has worked to eliminate barriers for her faculty and students to collaborate. As an experienced art educator of 30 years, I know when an administrator sees my teaching discipline as a method and a road for students to achieve in multiple areas and goes out of her way like Ms. Cawthron to support visual art.”
“Berkman is a Title I campus and Ms. Cawthron has worked to find numerous opportunities to enrich the lives of the student population. Under her tutelage she has not only supported but also strengthened the general music and visual arts programs, while adding theatre, dance and strings to the fine arts offerings. She has worked with campus and district staff to provide an after-school arts enrichment program that is both engaging and sustainable for the students.
It is however, the opportunity that Ms. Cawthron has afforded her school community in the area of arts integration into all subjects that is most impactful. She has worked to give the arts teachers and regular classroom teachers the opportunity to meet, plan and implement meaningful integration. This integration has been created using the most engaging arts strategies and our arts teachers’ expertise has been elevated in the process. Ms. Cawthron has consistently instilled change to the regular curriculum in order to integrate visual and performing arts into Dual Language instruction, Math, Language Arts, Social Studies and Science,” says Lisa Roebuck, Director of Fine Arts
Mrs. Cawthron will receive her award from the Association on Friday, November 9, 2018 from 2-4pm at the First General Session of the TAEA 58th Annual Conference at McAllen Convention Center in McAllen, TX. For more information on the Texas Art Education Association, visit taea.org.