The National Art Education Association (NAEA) has named Redan Middle School visual arts teacher Lydia Atubeh as its recipient of the 2020 Outstanding National Junior Art Honor Society Sponsor Award.
The award, determined through a peer review of nominations, recognizes dedication from an NAEA member who sponsors an outstanding National Junior Art Honor Society Chapter. The award will be presented at the NAEA National Convention in Minneapolis on March 26-28, 2020.
“It feels good to win the award,” Atubeh said.
Atubeh has been a teacher in DeKalb County School District and Redan Middle’s National Junior Art Honor Society sponsor for five years. She became the club’s sponsor because she wanted her students to develop useful skills that will help them after graduation.
“They’ll need to be self-starters, they’ll need to be able to advocate from themselves, speak properly and lead,” she said. “My goal is to help them to develop the skills they need to actually work and succeed in the real world once they graduate.”
The National Junior Art Honor Society has collaborated with Redan’s music program, the family and consumer science program and the coding program to learn about careers in art.
“I like for the students to get an opportunity to learn about careers in art, so that they’re not just saying, ‘it’s just drawing and painting.’ It can actually go into a career,” Atubeh said. “I brought in [Savannah College of Art and Design] SCAD when I collaborated with the coding teacher, and I brought in Carlo’s Bakery from the television show ‘Cake Boss’ and they did a demonstration. That’s when I collaborated with the family and consumer science teacher.”
Atubeh recently had Telsa come to the school to do car demonstrations for students.
“They brought a car and showed the students how car designs go from drawing the concept to the actual design and working towards a fully electric car,” she said. “I try to always make sure that kids have a real-world connection from visual arts to where it can take them in the real world.”
“Lydia Atubeh exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active in education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession,” said NAEA President Thom Knab.
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Contributed by Carla Parker