Every year AAEC solicits nominations from across Alaska to honor ‘Alaska’s Champions of Arts in Education’. There were many nominees this year and they are all worthy, but there are only four categories. This year’s honorees are:
- Lake Argus Siner, Arts Student
- Sally Grimsrud, Arts Educator
- Miah Lager, Arts Advocate
- Ginger Crockett, Arts Leader
Lake Argus Siner, 2018 Arts Student
Thunder Mountain High School, Juneau
In the art classroom at Thunder Mountain there is something called The Lake Effect. When Lake works on the pottery wheel, everyone around him is affected! Lake is a once in a career student. Many students have an artistic gift but with Lake pottery has grown into his passion. My love for clay and art has increased but better yet is the students around Lake who are determined to work up to his level of perfection. The atmosphere in my classroom has changed from a place of reservation at the risk of failure to one of risk taking to achieve the standards
set by Lake.
Example Impact: When Lake began to make lids he became obsessed with a perfect fit which is
complicated and difficult. Lake experimented with many techniques to achieve a fit he would be satisfied with to the point of using silica carbide-a technique for professional quality precision. A 3-piece set was a testament to his skills-all lids are a perfect fit! The shapes, forms, feet, surface, and glaze pull these pieces together for a presentation that won Lake Best of Show in the 2017 All-State Art Competition.
Nominated by his teacher, Angela Imboden
Sally has been an educator in Bering Strait School District for six years, and was hired to pilot an arts program in John Apangalook School in Gambell. She will retire from teaching next year after 18 years in service.
She has also been a huge advocate and force for students to show their work on local, regional and statewide levels. Along with celebrating world cultures, Sally is especially adept at fostering a sense ofplace and connection to cultural identity in the projects she teaches. For example, her class created a collaborative crankie story depicting a traditional legend from St. Lawrence Island, which was told and performed at the Yup’ik Days celebration. She has led students in creating clay sculptures of the Giant that created Sivuqaq, based on the island’s creation story. She draws from local resources and people to inspire students’s artwork.
Nominated by Arts Specialist Robin Child
Miah Lager, 2018 Arts Advocate
Dzantiki’ Heeni Middle School, Juneau
Miah is a consummate artist, down to the details in how she lives her life. She is always slowing things down, seeking out and creating the beautiful in her life with her students, family and friends.
She works tirelessly in her commitment to the arts, holds very high expectations from her art students, and as a result they produce beautiful work.
Miah creates everything into art, for the sake of art, championing art causes, from attending rallies with her children at the capitol, to creating a gingerbread long-house for the Governor’s Open House. In the photo are some huge puppets that Miah, her students and her mother, SuAnn Randall, made. She brought these puppets to the capitol with her children to express her support of arts in education funding.
Nominated by Summer Koester
Ginger Crockett, 2018 Arts Leader
Brevig Mission School, Brevig Mission
Ginger is a fantastic principal and because of her the arts have become a backbone in the Brevig Mission School. Through her tenure she has supported staff and students to cultivate and practice the Studio Habits of Mind, which help tackle everyday challenges. She is an extraordinary example of an individual who believes in the power of the arts to transform, inspire, and motivate students to be the best version of themselves. Ginger uses the arts as a vehicle to support students in expressing emotion, strengthening resilience, celebrating culture and community values, and building a positive school environment.
Nominated by Arts Specialist Robin Child