For the second time this decade, the state's outstanding art teacher is from the Lawrence school district.
A Lawrence elementary school art teacher has been named Outstanding Kansas Elementary Art Educator of the Year for 1996-97.
Elizabeth Hatchett, who teaches kindergarten through sixth-graders at Cordley and Centennial schools, was named the award winner by the Kansas Art Education Assn.
"A lot of teachers deserve awards," she said. "I really love my students -- I think that helps."
Hatchett also credits staff at the schools where she works and the art community in Lawrence and at Kansas University.
"I have two really good staffs and two really supportive principals," she said.
The award officially will be presented to Hatchett at the association's conference Oct. 4-5 in Salina.
As the state winner, she will be nominated for the same distinction at the national level.
"She is real current with the new technology and computers, and she is trying to put that in her classroom," said Laurie McLane-Higginson, a Lawrence art teacher and 1993-94 winner of the award.
McLane-Higginson was a member of the committee that picked this year's recipient.
"We get a lot of great nominees," she said.
Hatchett joined the Lawrence school district in 1987.
"Her love for teaching and for students is illustrated with every lesson, every day," Cordley Principal Tom Christie said in a statement. "The energy and commitment she displays in her instructional techniques makes her a role model for other teachers in our building, district and state."
"The art program at Centennial has flourished under Elizabeth's guidance," Centennial Principal Myron Melton said in a statement. "She is very involved in using technology in her art program, and is always looking for new ways to bring art to life for her students."
Hatchett earned a master's degree in 1984 from KU, where she also has done post-graduate work and taught. She has exhibited her work in Lawrence and regionally.
The Kansas Art Education Assn. is a statewide professional organization dedicated to the growth and development of art educators and the advancement of high-quality art education.