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Wheaton Teacher Named Middle School Art Educator of the Year

Illinois Art Education Association names Christopher Grodoski of Franklin Middle School in Wheaton the 2012 Illinois Middle School Art Educator of the Year.

The Illinois Art Education Association has named Christopher Grodoski of Franklin Middle School in Wheaton, IL the 2012 Illinois Middle School Art Educator of the Year. This award recognizes the exemplary contributions, service and achievements of one outstanding IAEA member annually. The award will be presented at the IAEA conference in Lisle, IL on November 2nd, 2012. Grodoski is a resident of West Chicago, Illinois.

IAEA selected Grodoski on the basis of his outstanding commitment to visual art education in his field as well as his wider contributions in the Northeastern Illinois region, according to an IAEA press release.

Chris Grodoski began his teaching career in 2002 for Chicago Public Schools at Laura Ward Elementary. While working for CPS, he started two art programs while also teaching regular education for 7th and 8th graders. Since 2008, Grodoski has worked at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton.

He is loved by his students, parents, and staff, Franklin Principal David Bendis said in a statement, “I can say unequivocally that Mr. Chris Grodoski is the best art educator I have experienced. If fact, he is one of the finest educators I have had the privilege to call my colleague.” 

Grodoski is also a tireless art education advocate at the local, state, and national levels. He has recently joined the Illinois Art Education Association (IAEA) board as the new Advocacy Advisor. Chris has also served National Art Education Association (NAEA) in several leadership roles including serving on the Cross-Division Research Committee, leading the NAEA Middle Level Western Region as Director, and work as the NAEA Research Commissioner through 2015.

Grodoski has presented art education research at NAEA conventions and has been published in the IAEA Mosaic “Creativity, History, and Advocacy”. Mr. Grodoski has developed a method for interpreting images called unpacking that will be published in an upcoming article in the journal, Art Education.

“Although this award is a high honor, it highlights my debt to a supportive administrative team, the school community, and the Franklin students. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach in a community that values visual arts education so highly,” Grodoski said in a statement.

Information courtesy of an IAEA press release.

Wheaton Watcher October 20, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Lots of comments about teacher salaries, none for hard working over achieving educators though. I will be the first. Mr. Grodoski, you rock! Congrats on the award. Art is an essentional component of a well rounded education.

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