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Past and present Mattituck art teachers receive state awards

Dina Rose

Mattituck High School art teacher Dina Rose has received the 2018 Art Educator of the Year award by the New York State Art Teachers Association.

Ms. Rose, who is the current vice president of NYSATA, received the award Nov. 18 at the 70th annual NYSATA conference “Transformation: A New Era in Art Education” at the Adams Marc Hotel in Buffalo.

“This award highlights all the things I’ve done as an educator to foster and pull that creativity out of the students and elevate them,” she said after the conference.

The Mattituck teacher, who has been in the district for 12 years, was nominated by other art teachers in the state. She said the selection is based on activities and tools that art teachers are implementing in the classroom to encourage student creativity. The nomination is selected after the teachers consider an individual’s educational career, she said.

Last year, Ms. Rose and the entire eighth grade class illustrated and published “An Illustrated Guide to Wildlife of the North Fork,” published in partnership with Art in a Box, a nonprofit that partners with communities to assist in “recovery and empowerment through art.” The book is currently in the Library of Congress and is available on Amazon. Ms. Rose believes this was a key factor in the teacher’s nomination, she said.

“They looked at the book as a major accomplishment because those 200 pages came from the eighth grade,” Ms. Rose said.

About 40 students in the high school and junior high participate in NYSATA’S Portfolio Project, an annual event where students build an annual portfolio for judging by professionals. Some of the events have been hosted by Ms. Rose in Mattituck, she said.

“Because Suffolk County is one of the biggest participating regions in the state, they’re modeling a lot of the portfolio activity for the conference around what Suffolk art teachers have been doing,” Ms. Rose said. 

She also leads students in the Congressional Art Competition in Washington, D.C., and the Olympics of the Visual Arts in Saratoga Springs, every two years.

At the conference, Ms. Rose also presented examples of her classroom projects to other state teachers, she said, to help them develop their own district programs. 

“If I wasn’t part of this, I probably wouldn’t be seeing the caliber of work that comes from other students in other districts to keep my students relevant while they’re applying for colleges,” she said about the conference. “It’s just a great opportunity for that, and it really highlighted all the work we’ve done in Mattituck.”

Despite her accolades, she credits most of the hard work to her students.

“My students are really inspiring,” she said. “This is really about them. They work really hard, and I know I push them hard sometimes.”

Ms. Rose said she’s grateful she lives in a community that supports student art.

“The support we have from our administration, parents and the community is just incredible,” she said. “They make all these opportunities for students … because people are so supportive of the arts and they love to see all the amazing things that young students can do.”

At the same conference, a retired art curriculum coordinator in the Mattituck-Cutchogue district, Lee Harned, received an Award of Excellence from NYSATA. She received the award based on her ongoing contribution to art education in the state, though she was unable to accept it in person.

Since her retirement in 2013, Ms. Harned participates on the education committee at East End Arts in Riverhead and Parrish Art Museum in Southampton. She is a current member of the Old Town Arts and Crafts Guild in Cutchogue, and works as the East End coordinator for NYSATA. She also participates in the NYSATA’s Portfolio Project and currently teaches painting in her art studio in Laurel.

Ms. Rose said she’s collaborated with Ms. Harned in the past, and learned about art from her. 

“She’s been my greatest mentor,” Ms. Rose said.

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Photo caption: Dina Rose holds the 2018 Art Educator of the Year award by the New York State Art Teachers Association. (Courtesy photo) 

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