“Kelly Hinnebusch continually astounds me with her energy, positivity, caring ideas and tenacity.” – Dr. Mary Elizabeth Meier
A 2019 Edinboro University grad received a prestigious award for her outstanding contributions to art education.
Kelly Hinnebusch, ’19, now a Pittsburgh Public Schools Westinghouse Visual Arts teacher, has been awarded the “New Professional” honor by the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA). She was nominated by Dr. Mary Elizabeth Meier, head of Art Education programs at Edinboro University.
She received this honor virtually at the PAEA’s annual conference on Oct. 16. This annual conference event brings Pennsylvania art educators together to network and celebrate the Visual Arts, all while “expanding their teaching-learning practices and finding new ways to engage art students.”
Hinnebusch earned her B.S. in Art Education and her B.F.A. in Ceramic Arts at Edinboro.
“Kelly Hinnebusch continually astounds me with her energy, positivity, caring ideas and tenacity,” said Meier.
Meier had nothing but praise in her nomination letter, where she spoke about Hinnebusch’s skills and aptitude as an instructor.
In her time at Edinboro, Hinnebusch had multiple student teaching placements. The first was at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in urban Erie, and the second was at two elementary schools in the Northwestern School District in rural Albion. She also participated in a clinical field placement at East Middle School in Erie.
Kim Leasure, an art instructor at Collegiate Academy and Cooperating Teacher, spoke about her experience with Hinnebusch in her time at the school.
Her professionalism and preparedness for teaching was apparent.
“During student teaching, Ms. Hinnebusch exhibited the qualities of a natural teacher who found ease and energy in her professional interactions with students,” said Meier. “She moved about the classroom with positivity and developed learning experiences that reached students in their individual experiences. She encouraged them to the next level in their thinking. She was equally adept at instructing elementary students as middle and high school students.”
After her student teaching semester, Hinnebusch was hired for her current position as 6-12 Visual Arts Teacher at the Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy.
“I was in communication with Kelly through the interview process and at intervals during her first months of teaching. During each conversation I was always reminded of Kelly’s exemplary professionalism and true love for her work as an art teacher,” said Meier.
Tyler Hensley, a middle-level teacher at the Pittsburgh Westinghouse Academy, spoke about his experience thus far as a colleague of Hinnebusch.
So far, Hennebusch has impressed colleagues and administrators with her leadership skills and community relations efforts.
In addition, though school was not in session physically, Kelly engaged with her students on a daily basis, continuing to build relationships despite only knowing them in the physical classroom for 32 days.
Her approach to education truly starts at the basis of forming valuable relationships with her students in order to provide high quality, relevant instruction that they will carry into every area of their lives, not just the Visual Arts.
Hinnebusch’s goal is to continue offering equitable, pertinent instruction to her students while engaging with her school and professional community.
“I look forward to following her career path and for her greater involvement as a leader,” Meier said. “She is most deserving of recognition as an exemplary new professional in our field.”