Stillwater News Press

February 15, 2013

Teacher ties art instruction into core curriculum

By Mark Rountree
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — Stillwater Middle School art teacher Crista McCann said that her classroom is not a place where students go to get a break from core instruction.

“I try to align my classes with what the core (subject) teachers are doing,” said McCann. “If (students) are learning shapes in geometry class, we will be doing something like that in my class. If they are talking about symmetry in math class, we are talking about balance in my class. Art supports all the other subjects. I want my classes to count. Students learn pretty quick that it’s all connected.”

McCann, who is in her ninth year in education, was one of three educators nominated for teacher of the year in Stillwater Public Schools.

“I’m really surprised,” said McCann. “If you could see the teachers I work with ... Stillwater has a lot to be proud of. I don’t know that I consider myself an outstanding teacher. I just really love what I do.”

In four years in the Stillwater school district, McCann has taught in four elementary schools and now the middle school.

“I have seen a lot of Stillwater,” she said.

“She works hard to bring out the inner artist in every student in her class,” said Stillwater Middle School Principal Cathy Walker. “She goes the extra mile to display their art work around the building and community for all to enjoy. Many of her students’ projects have been recognized in a national anthology. Mrs. McCann is a talented artist and teacher and we are proud to have her as a member of our team.”

Stillwater Public Schools has named the finalists for teacher of the year. The winner will be announced at a banquet May 6.

• Thursday: Jamie Bellah, Richmond Elementary School

• Friday: Beth Helms, Stillwater Junior High School

• Saturday: Crista McCann, Stillwater Middle School