#1 President: Jim O'Donnell (email@example.com)
Hello District 1 Art Teachers!
My name is Jim O'Donnell and I will be serving as your new District 1 President. It's possible that some of you may not be sure what district you're in, so let me acknowledge you all. District 1 is:
Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Coweta, Dade, Douglas, Floyd, Gordon, Heard, Haralson, Meriwether, Paulding, Polk, Troup, and Walker Counties.
Now that you know who you are, let me tell you a little about myself. I began in the fall at the University of West Georgia as Assistant Professor of Art Education. We're small (my students and I are the Art Education Program) but scrappy and it's been an absolute blast. I'm very lucky to be in such a creative and thoughtful department with tremendously generous administrators and faculty that care about teaching and student success. We were lucky enough to receive a brand new Visual Arts Building last semester and I hope you all will consider visiting for a workshop sometime in the future.
Prior to going west, I received an MFA from Georgia State University where I worked primarily in video, performance installation, and drawing. I was again lucky to teach with a talented faculty and work with thoughtful and ambitious students. I made sure to poke my head into the Art Education Program's door whenever possible. Before grad school, I was an Art Teacher at Stone Mountain Elementary where I worked with a lot of caring faculty and administrators and a lot of excellent young artists. That school is in a district which is committed enough to the arts to have a Visual Arts Coordinator as a district employee, and a committed one at that, Elizabeth Eppes, with whom I was fortunate to work with as a District Coordinator and Teacher Mentor.
I moved to Georgia from Florida, where I grew up. At the time, I was teaching Art and Yearbook at a middle school in Gainesville, Florida after graduating from the University of Florida (sorry Dogs!) Art Education Program where I learned how to thrive instead of just survive from some of the greatest professors I've ever met. Early on I got involved with the UF NAEA Student Chapter and it had a hugely positive impact on my life. I strongly encourage those of you in Higher Ed to support student chapters at your institutions and for teachers to contact colleges and universities and ask how to get in touch with their student chapters so that they can volunteer and work with your kids. That lead me to being elected National Student Chapter President where I was able plan convention programming and work with the NAEA Board, Delegates Assembly, and the Special Issues Group Caucus for a few years which was an incredible experience. Your leadership at both the state and national level have a tremendous amount of passion and work very hard to represent art teachers and programs all over.
I have loved being involved in my state and national organizations. I think I've been to probably been to 9 of the last 11 NAEA Conventions and presented at 7 or 8 of those. If you've never submitted a proposal, I would really encourage you to do it for GAEA and then NAEA. This year the convention is in Ft. Worth and I'll definitely be there. If you've never been to a state or national convention you have to go soon. It's a lot of fun, you learn so much, and you just want to keep going back.
If you are not currently a
GAEA member, join or renew now and enjoy all the benefits of GAEA including our
new and improved website including the NAEA website with tons of new
opportunities. Invite your art
colleagues to join you at the next national or state conference.