Mission Hill teacher recognized by California Art Educator Association as Outstanding Visual Art Educator of the Year and local community hero

Santa Cruz City Schools Art Teacher Kathleen Crocetti has been selected by the California Art Education Association as the Outstanding Visual Art Educator of 2011.  CAEA annually accepts nominations from its membership for active and current CAEA members who have demonstrated exemplary instruction in their schools and who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in the field of art education.

Crocetti, a long time Mission Hill teacher, has been a strong advocate for art education and an accomplished artist. As an active member of CAEA, she has participated in many state conference activities including Chairing Youth Art Month in Santa Cruz County and helping to organize our statewide conferences.  She is currently serving as Exemplary Program chair for CAEA. While the above is just a small Her greatest contributions are yet to come as she continues to motivate and inspire her students and mentor alumni and colleagues in the field of art education.

Crocetti shared her perspective with the CAEA,

The arts are vital. They are vital to us as individual human beings, to our communities, to our nation and to our planet. The arts encourage individuals to explore, when we try new  things and discover unexpected results this gives us confidence to explore in other areas  of our lives. This spirit of exploration, the drive to find creative solutions is at the heart of  our national strength as innovators and inventors. As the world continues to change at the rapid rate we are experiencing, our children will need to be able to respond with new and creative solutions to ever increasing complicated problems. This broad view benefit of the arts does not require that every individual be an artist, rather that every individual be exposed to artist processes. Art foster courage to explore the unknown.

As a teacher, the three most important things I can impart to students is perseverance,  courage and vision. It takes practice to get better at everything, to be very good at something we must persevere; each of us has a unique perspective on life that allows us to see things differently than anyone else. Believing in ourselves and having the courage to put our personal vision out there in the public eye is being real. I ask my students to be true to themselves, to be real.

Crocetti has also been selected to receive the 2011 Officer Jim Howes Community Service Award from the City of Santa Cruz.  According to Scott Collins, Assistant to the City Manager, Kathleen was selected by the award committee out of an amazing group of community member nominees.  The City of Santa Cruz extends this prestigious award to Kathleen for all she has done to improve the community and enrich the lives of our youngsters.  The official presentation of the Community Service award will take place at the December 13, 2011 City Council meeting, which begins at 3 pm.