Dr. Marcia Meale earned her Ph.D. in Art Education from Florida State University in 2005. She has over 23 years of teaching experience in Leon County. She is currently in her 6th year of teaching at Conley Elementary, where she has been named “Teacher of the Year” for the 2013-2014 school year.
When asked about her most memorable and exciting teaching experiences as an art teacher, she recalls her opportunities working with Viki Thompson-Wylder and FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts. These particular experiences allowed her to work on teacher-curated shows such as “The Story” and “Generations”, as well as Dr. Anderson’s International Peace Murals. Her students also became involved in contributing to these shows, a hallmark of which has been developing and creating large group projects. In the past they created a two-story high crocheted art piece, and coming up this January they have built a large wood relief sculpture to be featured in the “East Meets West” K-5 exhibition.
In addition to these experiences, Meale remarks on working with local artist, Brad Cooley, on a sculpture art project that involved all the children in the school. With funding provided by The Foundation for Leon County Schools, the children built a life-size clay sculpture depicting a child reading. The sculpture ended up looking so great and had such a positive reaction that the principal decided to cast it in bronze instead of resin. The piece now sits in a garden outside of the media center, complete with the school mascot “Buzz” sitting on the corner of the child’s book. This sculpture project, and related individual projects sparked interest, created pride and a sense of accomplishment among the students, each of them happily taking ownership of a job well done. On the day of the sculpture unveiling, one student proudly told superintendent Jacki Pons, “I made those shoes!”
In regards to teaching art education, Marcia is quoted as saying, “Creating works of art that go beyond typical ‘school’ art, that encourage students to push the limits of their skills, knowledge and imaginations, along with building the students’ senses of accomplishment are the true rewards of teaching art.”
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