CAEA Professional Educator Awards

CAEA annually accepts nominations from its membership for active and current CAEA members who have demonstrated exemplary instruction in their schools and who have made an impact on those around and to our organization. Furthermore, CAEA selects one of its members to receive the Outstanding Visual Art Educator of the Year Award for the State of California who is also honored each year at the National Art Education Association national convention.

The purpose of CAEA Professional Educators Awards is to:
• Recognize those individuals within the membership who have achieved the highest level of professionalism in the field of art education.

• Show our appreciation to those individuals or organizations that have contributed their services in an exemplary way to our association and to the goals we espouse in our profession.

• Increase public awareness of the importance of a quality art program for all of California’s children

• Set the standards for quality art education and demonstrate how those standards can be achieved

• Encourage membership in CAEA and active participation in CAEA at the local and/or state level

Statewide Awards

1. CAEA’s Outstanding Visual Art Educator of the Year*
2. CAEA’s Outstanding Elementary Visual Art Educator
3. CAEA’s Outstanding Middle/Junior High Visual Art Educator
4. CAEA’s Outstanding Secondary Visual Art Educator
5. CAEA’s Outstanding Higher Education Visual Art Educator
6. CAEA’s Outstanding Visual Art Administrator/Supervisor
7. CAEA’s Outstanding Museum Visual Art Educator
8. CAEA’s Outstanding Active Emeritus Visual Art Educator
9. Special Needs Visual Art Educator
10. Rookie of the Year Award (three years or less teaching experience)

*The recipient of the Outstanding Visual Art Educator of the Year award will represent the State of California as the recipient of that award at the subsequent year's National Art Education Association Convention. Transportation and lodging for the Convention will be reimbursed by CAEA for up to $500 as approved by the State Council.

Area Awards
1. Award of Merit
2. Douc Langur Award
3. The CAEA Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator Award
4. Certificate of Appreciation

CAEA Special Awards
1. CAEA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

CAEA Awards Nomination Submission Deadline
All award nominations must be received by January 31.
Please send the completed form to: [email protected]

The Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator Award

Every year CAEA gives out one to three Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator Awards who receive a cash award. The funding for this award is provided by the Community Foundation of the Verdugos through a special memorial trust fund established in memory of Ruth Jansen by her family, friends and the community. We are grateful for the support and recognition this has provided for professional educators since 1983. There is also a special award given to one senior high school YAM winner from each Area.

Who was Ruth Jansen? Read about this tremendous supporter of arts education: Ruth Jansen

For additional information or questions, contact Anne Uphoff [email protected], CAEA Professional Awards Chair

CAEA Exemplary Programs

The Exemplary Visual Arts Program was initiated over a decade ago to honor and recognize, publicly, CAEA members and their exemplary programs in California schools, pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. Through the application and dissemination process, members will be able to describe the unique characteristics of their outstanding work and that of their students, with interested teachers, parents, administrators, school board members, and curriculum developers.

The purpose of Exemplary Visual Arts Program Award is to:
• Honor CAEA members and their visual arts programs, Pre-K through Grade 12.

• Inform others about these members and their programs.

• Promote and expand opportunities for all students in California to receive diverse, yet exemplary visual art education programs.

For more information, contact Anne Uphoff [email protected], CAEA Professional Awards Chair

2021 CAEA Statewide Professional Award Recipients

Click on the recipient's name to view their bio.

Jaime Shilen

Outstanding Visual Art Educator of the Year

Rena Winton

Outstanding Secondary Visual Art Educator

Naomi Kadinoff

Outstanding Middle School Visual Art Educator

Julie Van Dewark

Outstanding Elementary Visual Art Educator

Laurie Gatlin

Outstanding Higher Education Visual Art Educator

Scott Fitzpatrick

Outstanding Visual Art Supervisor/Administrator

Jaimeson Brooks Daley

Outstanding Museum Visual Art Educator

Suzanne Joyal

Special Needs Visual Art Educator

Nena Kellar

Rookie of the Year Award

2021 CAEA Area Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator Award Recipients

Click on the recipient's name to view their bio.

Karoll Joson

Southern Area
Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator

Jenny Burrow

Central Area
Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator

Ed Lim

San Diego Area
Ruth Jansen Distinguished Art Educator

2021 Exemplary Programs Award Recipients

Click on the recipient's name to view their bio.

Alyssa Navapanich

Alyssa Navapanich & Hannah Lei Prunty are teaching partners sharing the Award

Hannah Lei Prunty

Alyssa Navapanich & Hannah Lei Prunty are teaching partners sharing the Award

Lemon Grove School District's Exemplary Program

Alyssa Navapanich and Hannah Lei Prunty

The Art program at Lemon Grove is a sequential program that uses elements of historic and contemporary art and artists to expose students to multicultural art from all over the world. Teachers collaborate weekly to ensure that students are engaged, and adjustments can be made to lessons to be sure students are gaining art skills and tools for 21st century learning. Students are given instruction in how to use various materials. They are given the agency to make choices about their work while collaborating with their teacher and peers to be sure that curricular goals and skills are met while implementing the CA state standards and framework.

NAEA Awards Program

The NAEA Awards program is open to all NAEA members. Growing in scope since its inception, the program features awards ranging from state, regional, and national levels. Information for 2018 nominations will be posted late spring/early summer and can be found at NAEA Awards. The submission deadline for most awards is October 1.

Have a question about NAEA Awards?
E-mail Anne Uphoff [email protected], CAEA Professional Awards Chair

NAEA Pacific Region Art Educator Award Recipients

The NAEA Regional Division Art Educator Awards honor one outstanding NAEA member from each of the seven divisions within each of the four geographic regions. The award recognizes exemplary service and achievement of regional significance within each division.

Alyssa Navapanich

San Diego Area
2021 NAEA Pacific Region Elementary Art Educator Award  

Cynthia White Anderson

Southern Area
2021 NAEA Pacific Region Preservice Art Educator Award

Veronica Hicks

Northern Area
NAEA National Award Recipient

2021 NAEA, The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), VSA Peter J. Geisser Special Needs Art Educator of the Year Award