QCHS digital design teacher named art educator of the year

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.