On Friday, February 26, 2010, Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette presented Jennifer Bell, an art teacher at Glencrest Sixth Grade in Fort Worth, with an Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.
In addition to teaching art, Ms. Bell is a UIL coach, an American Library Association Picturing America representative, and a professional glass artist. Ms. Bell encourages her students to engage in extracurricular activities. Her students have volunteered in the 20th Anniversary of Imagination and Knowledge Celebration Parade, participated in both Classroom to Community and the Young People's Art Fair at the MAIN ST. Fort Worth Arts Festival, and won several UIL competitions. "Quality teaching is bringing life experiences and perspective to the classroom, providing role models from diverse backgrounds, enriching the curriculum, strengthening connections to parents and community," she said.
For example, Ms. Bell's students started a "Classroom to Community" business, in which they sold glass art work at the Youth Peoples Fair at Fort Worth's Man Street Art Festival. Under Ms. Bell's guidance, the students learned marketing, budgetary, publicity, and presentation skills.
Paula K. Woods, principal of Glencrest Sixth Grade, said, "Ms. Bell consistently guides and provides constructive feedback which fosters an environment where students are willing to take risks. Students are always actively engaged in the lessons." Ms. Woods also cited Ms. Bell's interdisciplinary approach, commending her for creating activities and lessons that enrich students' math, science, and language arts coursework.
"We are pleased to recognize such an accomplished teacher," said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. "Ms. Bell instills the joy of learning in her students and motivates them to achieve at high levels."