CYPRESS — Hairgrove Elementary School Art Specialist Gretchen Bell was recently named the 2020 Outstanding Art Educator for the elementary division by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA).
Given in seven divisions or categories, the Outstanding Art Educator Award recognizes an individual who has significantly contributed to TAEA and to art education on the local, state, reginal and national levels.
Bell is heavily involved with TAEA and currently serves on the executive board as the vice president-elect for membership. She is a regular presenter at the association’s annual conference.
“Leadership, creativity, and collaboration are foundational pieces in Gretchen Bell’s character and are reflected in all her activities,” said Mel Basham, TAEA past president, who was among two association members to nominate Bell. “You can always count on her to get the job done in an exceptional, professional manner with great attention to detail. She is an expert in her content area and understands the necessity in building relationships with administration, colleagues, parents, community members and students.
“Gretchen’s commitment and passion for art education continue to benefit thousands of art educators and their students.”
Bell will join her fellow honorees in being recognized during the TAEA Conference, which will be virtual due to COVID-19. The awards ceremony will be conducted live at 6 p.m. on Nov. 20.
“I look forward in continuing to work with fellow art educators, learning from them and seeing how I can continue to nurture our students and nurture their creativity,” Bell said. “It’s really important that these kids have an outlet, especially with everything that is going on. Sometimes kids aren’t as successful in their core classes and art is their time to shine where we can turn our mistakes into successes. I believe with art, it’s a way to build confidence—they can speak through their art.”