CES teacher completes work on state committee

Published 12:46 pm Friday, January 27, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON – Clanton Elementary art teacher Julie Harrison recently completed her work as a member of the Arts Education State Course of Study committee.

The course of study is revised every 10 years. The committee drafting changes for the revised edition completed its work on Jan. 13. Harrison said she is “forever grateful” for the opportunity.

“It was very important, and I feel like I have made a difference that can be long term,” Harrison said.

Harrison first heard about the opportunity in 2015 after presenting an art workshop.

Applying to serve on the committee required permission from both CES principal Rebecca Threlkeld and school superintendent Tommy Glasscock because of the time commitment involved.

“When you apply for this position you are saying that you can take some off from your regular job to attend the meetings to rewrite the book,” Harrison said.

Harrison received the necessary approval and applied. The application asked for background information on the applicant’s career and any experience they had writing. Harrison is a National Board Certified teacher. She has master’s degrees in elementary education and administration, a Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art and an Educational Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership.

She has taught art at Clanton Elementary since 2004, having taught kindergarten at the school from 2001 to 2004.

Harrison was notified in February 2016 that she had been selected to serve on the committee as a part of the visual arts subcommittee. She specifically focused on the standards for kindergarten through second grade. The standards outline what a student should have done by the end of the year, such as working with clay and making three-dimensional art.

During her time on the committee, Harrison attended 21 meetings, the majority of which were in Montgomery in the Gordon Persons Building.

“It was a lot of fun,” Harrison said. “We looked at other states’ course of study to see what information was relevant, what worked for them, what didn’t work for them.”

The committee also referred to the National Core Arts Standards for guidance in revising the Alabama art standards for music, dance, theatre, visual art and media arts.

Harrison said in addition to the opportunity to impact the future of the state’s art education, she also enjoyed meeting other teachers.

“I have made such wonderful friends with people in my field,” Harrison said.

The revised edition of the course of study is expected to be implemented in Fall 2018.