Amy Migliore: Art Educator of the Year

PA Art Education Assoc. names QCHS’ Amy Migliore 2019 Secondary Art Educator of the Year.
Posted on 09/06/2019
Quakertown Community High School Digital Design teacher Amy MiglioreBy Gary Weckselblatt

Amy Migliore, Digital Design teacher at Quakertown Community High School, has been named Pennsylvania Art Education Association 2019 Secondary Art Educator of the Year.

Ms. Migliore, well known as an innovative educator and in demand as a speaker at university conferences, has been an art teacher in QCSD for 19 years.

“This is both validating and humbling,” she said. “Validating because we work in a nonprofit service profession where we invest our time and ideas into students. It’s nice to see it’s appreciated and has made an impact. It’s humbling because you receive these awards only when you’ve been championed and helped by permission granters and people who rally around you.”

Kristine Fontes, a former art educator and PAEA member, is one of those champions. Ms. Fontes has worked closely with Ms. Migliore for nearly a decade, and nominated her for the award. She describes Ms. Migliore as “an inspiration.”

“Amy is fun, bubbly and inspiring,” Ms. Fontes said. “She is right on top of anything that’s new in the art world, and that benefits her students. Amy gives them free reign, supplies them with the stuff to work with and says go crazy with it. And the results are beautiful.”

Dr. Heather Leah Ryerson Fountain, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Art Education and Crafts at Kutztown University, calls Ms. Migliore “a woman of great integrity, intelligence, passion, and heart.”

In a letter to the PAEA Awards Committee, she wrote: “One of the things I most respect about Amy is that she is constantly seeking new opportunities to learn and grow as an artist and teacher, so that she can provide the best insights and opportunities to her students.

“In addition to current topics and pedagogy in art education, Amy is adept at many areas such as technology, design, research and innovation; knowledge which she generously shares with others.”

Christine Marmé Thompson, Professor Emerita of Art Education at Penn State, is another advocate of Ms. Migliore. In her letter to the Awards Committee, she wrote:

“Amy is a dedicated and energetic person who is simply inspiring to those around her. Her focus on children and youth and public schooling, her understanding of what happens in the field and in the classroom, her engagement with the profession of art education at all levels is remarkable.

“She is unstoppable: well and widely read, constantly up to date, thoughtful, and generous in sharing her experience and her insight. She is innovative in her approaches to pedagogy and maintains exceptionally high standards for the work of students.”

A graduate of Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and an art education certificate, she received a Master of Science in Educational Technology from Wilkes University. She is presently working on her doctorate in Art Education, with a minor in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State University.

She has been a passionate educator for students at the high school level, describing them as “having the most untapped potential. If we can tap into them and what they are, there’s almost nothing they can’t do. To be acknowledged for helping them feels really good.”

Ms. Migliore also praised the district for its diverse art education curriculum, “I feel supported to have a vision for media arts,” she said. “We have held onto craft making while embracing new technology in the arts. It’s atypical in Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts. A lot of time schools feel they have to throw out the old for the new. We’re developing well-rounded students here. I feel very fortunate and proud.”

Erin Oleksa-Carter, the district’s Supervisor of Literacy and Fine Arts, said “Amy has been a wonderful asset to our students and community. We are grateful for her enthusiasm and dedication to art education in Quakertown.”

QCHS first-year Principal Mattias van 't Hoenderdaal said “This is a distinct honor, and I am so happy for Amy to receive this wonderful recognition. Her award is evidence of the great quality teaching here that our students have access to.”

In the last several years, QCSD has had several faculty and administrators receive state and regional recognition for educational excellence. In 2015, high school teachers Janet Bassett and Ryan Stetler were recognized by different organizations as teachers of the year. Ms. Bassett, who retired in June, won the 2015 Secondary Teacher of the Year from the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies. The PA State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance named Stetler the 2015 K-12 Health Education Teacher of the Year.

In 2016, Assistant Superintendent Nancianne Edwards was one of 28 women to receive the Lehigh Valley Business' Women of Influence award. In 2017, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Hoffman won the Outstanding Curriculum Development award from the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

In 2018, Trumbauersville Elementary School Principal Adam Schmucker was named Pennsylvania’s National Distinguished Principal by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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