Gattis Elementary School Art Teacher Carolyn Scalan has been named the 2021 Outstanding Elementary Art Educator by the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA), the nation’s largest professional art education association.

The award is given to one TAEA member a year and one art educator who has significantly contributed to art education at their community, regional, or state level. She will officially receive her award in November during the organization’s annual conference.

“TAEA has been an integral part of my life as an art teacher since 1999, my first year teaching,” Scalan said. “Over the years, it has gifted me with life-long friendships, mentors, and professional development. I have loved giving back to the organization that has given me so much in recent years, and I feel so honored to be chosen amongst all of the many art teachers in Texas for this award. It was a surprise when I realized that I had been chosen as I think about all those who received this award and who mentored me. Now I hope to continue the cycle and give to others as they before me have given to me.”

Scalan has served Gattis for seven years, and during that time, has strived to establish a safe room culture of creative student choice and voice integrated with problem-solving and critical thinking skills. She is also currently serving as co-president of the Round Rock Art Education Association and is an active art educator presenting locally and statewide.

“Carolyn makes technology and student choice within her art education practice a tool that is a natural and constant part of students’ art education learning rituals and environment daily,” Director of Fine Arts – Visual Arts Tim Lowke said. “The authentic learning responses that come from her students are amazing examples of 21st-century learning and have been recognized by our leadership and faculty.”