Free State art teacher Laurie McLane-Higginson earns a state award.
Color her tickled.
When Lawrence art teacher Laurie McLane-Higginson received the Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year Award for the 1991-1992 school year, she was thrilled. She's done it again, this time receiving the Outstanding Middle School Art Educator of the Year Award for 1998-1999 from the Kansas Art Education Assn.
``It's so neat, but it's like, `There are so many other wonderful teachers and wonderful art teachers out there...,''' McLane-Higginson said. ``I'm tickled. I love feeling loved.''
McLane-Higginson has taught in Lawrence public schools since 1982 and was instrumental in the transition from visiting art consultants to full-time art teachers for all elementary schools in the district.
She is certified to teach kindergarten through 12th grade and is currently working as a ceramics, jewelry and classical drawing teacher at Free State High School.
``I want to reach as many students as I can with art,'' McLane-Higginson said. ``I want them to bring a piece of that into their hearts. I love going out and touching other people through art.''
In 1997 a flag design of one of McLane-Higginson's students was chosen by the Getty Center for the Arts to represent Kansas in the Kids Congress on Art in California. The flag, which 25 of McLane-Higginson's students worked on, is still on display at the Getty in Los Angeles.
Former student Emma Komp took several classes from McLane-Higginson at West Junior High School and will take more classes from her next spring.
``She's really pleasant and upbeat in her classes,'' Komp said.
In a rare coincidence, West Junior High Principal Mick Lowe was named the Outstanding Kansas Art Educator/Administration Supervisor of the Year for 1998-1999. Lowe and McLane-Higginson will be honored at a banquet Oct. 9 in Great Bend.
Even her peers at FSHS don't think there's anyone more deserving than McLane-Higginson.
``I benefit greatly from Laurie's ability as a middle school teacher,'' said FSHS art teacher Carolyn Berry. ``Students entering my high school classes from her program are disciplined and well-versed in technical and aesthetics of art.''
The Kansas Art Education Assn. is a statewide professional organization dedicated to the growth and development of art educators and advancement of high quality art education.
-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.