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Ellis named states top art teacher
With mirrors in hand and a mission in mind, Silverdale Elementary fifth-graders on Tuesday, Oct. 14, tried to draw self portraits. The process began with tracing an oval on to a piece of paper, then adjusting it to reflect the nuances of their own face.
With steady patience and encouragement for the most steadfast doubter, art teacher Patti Ellis illustrates technique and hones students talents.
Her talents were recently recognized by the Washington Art Education Association when it selected Ellis for the 2003 Elementary Educator of the Year Award.
She was presented the award Oct. 10 in Everett.
We were thrilled. It was surprising, we didnt even know she had been nominated, said Silverdale Principal Jeff McCormick.
He describes Ellis teaching style as engaging for all students. She is able to find the artist in every child.
I love it. Im passionate about the arts and passionate about children, she said following the class.
Tell her you cant draw, arent artistic or not creative, and Ellis will convince you otherwise.
If you told me you cant fly because you dont have wings, I would believe that. But tell me you cant do art, I dont believe it, she said.
Ellis, who has an art education degree from Washington State University, has been teaching art part time at the school for the past 12 years. All three of her children went to Silverdale and her daughter was honored by the Washington Art Education Association.
Carri Campbell, who is art education coordinator for the Tacoma Art Museum, was named the Museum Art Educator of the Year. She is a 1994 graduate of Central Kitsap High School.
Art is in our blood, Ellis said.
Her children always had an art table to work on projects and were encouraged to find their own path in life.
Art is a universal language, a lasting element of civilizations and a necessity for children that integrates problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Ellis teaches grades 1-6 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
She has also developed an after- school art program for students in the district.