Melissa Lowrie definitely has multitasking down to a tee. Her first duty involves teaching art to students from kindergarten all the way to sixth grade. When she's not giving her students a lesson in creativity, she's informing their parents about what's going on in the classroom. It's her second duty as parent liaison.
"It's been challenging but a lot of fun. The kids enjoy the art and I enjoy working with the parents. It's a good combination," says Lowrie.
Although it's the first time art has ever been offered at Wester Elementary, Lowrie is already handling it like a pro. Today students are creating Christmas decorations with tissue paper. It's innovative projects like this that have Lowrie's students begging for more.
"If I didn't have an art class at school, I wouldn't know what to do," says Michael Pugh, a second grader at Wester Elementary.
"I get claps and hoorays and yeehaws when Ms. Lowrie comes in. It just makes it all worth it. It's a lot of fun," says Lowrie.
Lowrie knows her students see art class as a break from their usual routine but she also knows her work may have an impact on a particular group of students.
"In some of the research I've read the kids that are the biggest discipline problem are the ones that are the most creative and the most talented and if we don't find some way for them to express themselves, I feel like these kids won't stay in school," says Lowrie.
It is Lowrie's ability to consistently think outside of the box and meet the constant challenge of developing a first year program that makes her a teacher you can count on.
"I'm wanting them to just try and be creative and not be afraid to try anything and it is art its always art regardless of how it looks, regardless of what their finished product is. It's gorgeous to all of us here at Wester," says Lowrie.
Besides developing new ideas for her students, Lowrie enjoys spending time with her three children. If you know of a teacher that deserves to be recognized, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.