Central District Art Teacher Is The Best Educator | Herald Community Newspapers
Last month, Lisa Federici, an art teacher at Wellington C. Mepham High School in Bellmore, was named the 2021 Regional Art Educator of the Year by the New York State Art Teachers Association. She won the Region 9 award in New York, which is Nassau County.
A teacher for 14 years, Federici told the Herald she was “very lucky” to have spent her entire career so far in the Bellmore-Merrick Central School District. Starting at John F. Kennedy High School, she later taught at Merrick Avenue Middle School before moving to Mepham, where she has been for five years.
Federici, who is originally from Farmingdale and now lives in Suffolk County, teaches Studio Art, an introductory course, and Creative Suite, Bellmore-Merrick’s digital art program. The distinctly different classes, she says, give her the chance to work with different types of students. “Creative Suite is an amazing class that allows kids to be creative, but not while being a traditional art student,” she said. “It’s such a fun class – it attracts kids from all walks of life.”
Federici also teaches five levels of sculpture, with levels 1 and 3 taking place in the fall and levels 2 and 4 in the spring. The Level 5 class is more of a stand-alone program, she explained, usually only attracting a handful of students if it works.
“It’s an amazing experience to teach an art class,” she said. “Even for kids doing it just for graduation, seeing them engaged is exactly why I’m a teacher – the art is just an added bonus.”
There is a nomination process for the Art Educator Award, and a friend of Federici, a teacher at Rockville Center, let him know that she had submitted an entry on his behalf. The others who nominated her all remained anonymous.
The New York State Art Teachers Association is a professional organization for teachers. “I was informed in the spring that I would be the winner in 2021,” Federici said. “[The ceremony] was in Binghamton, at the 73rd Annual NYSATA Conference.
There was one winner chosen from each of the 10 regions, as well as a statewide winner.
“Ms. Federici is incredibly deserving of this award,” said Cheryl Fontana, Bellmore-Merrick District’s Director of Fine and Performing Arts. a real asset to our department.
“Whether it’s coming up with new courses, involving her students in various contests or exhibition submissions, exploring options for excursions, or simply sharing lessons with colleagues,” Fontana added, “Lisa is continually finding ways to help further develop our program while at the same time inspiring her students to be the best young artists possible.
Besides teaching, Federici is also an artist outside the classroom. “I’m actually a fiber and mixed-media artist, so I create artwork with recycled fabric,” she said. “Sometimes I apply for shows and participate in them. I’m a local artist – mostly on Long Island.
She recently received an honorable mention for her piece “Pinned Rapture and Melancholy”.
“Right now I have art on display in Northport,” she said. “And I was just on a virtual show in California. I just try to get my artwork out there so people can see it and I can see what their reaction would be.
Federici was honored at the December 1 Bellmore-Merrick Central High School School District School Board meeting, where Superintendent Mike Harrington and Board Administrator Melissa Cmar-Grote also praised her and his devotion to the school, its students and arts education.
“Many art teachers at Bellmore-Merrick and throughout Long Island consider her a resource and appreciate her persistent dedication,” Cmar-Grote said. “Lisa’s commitment to our students, her colleagues and the community is truly appreciated. We congratulate her on this recognition and look forward to seeing her continued growth at Bellmore-Merrick. »
“I’m so grateful to be recognized and recognized for something that I do,” Federici told the Herald. “It’s a great feeling, and I’m really grateful.”