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SASD Teachers Recognized as Art Educators of the Year

Congratulations to Sheboygan Area School District art teachers Mary J. Starnitcky and Antoinette Mattern. Mary J. Starnitcky was selected as Outstanding Middle School Art Educator of the Year and Antoinette Mattern was selected as Outstanding Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Art Education Association (WAEA).

Mary J. Starnitcky is an art teacher at Urban Middle School. Mary graduated from UW-Stout with a B.S. in Art Education in 4K-12 in 1989. She recently completed her Masters of Education from National Louis University, Illinois in 2011. Mary has been teaching art for 22 years. She was selected for this award because of her commitment to teaching, curriculum work, art knowledge, flexibility, the willingness to step in when needed, and the ability to make wonderful creations from her fabulous storage pile!

Mary is an individual who is non-stop 24 hours and is always on the go. She is well known throughout the community by her students and peers.  She is currently the Allied Arts Team Leader, Student Council Advisor, past PTK President, 4H- Leader, former Girl Scout Leader and Urban Art Chair Person. Mary was also involved with the Artist-in Residence Committee, and the Middle School State Standards Committee. For 5 years she ran “The Love Bowl Project”, which created handmade ceramic soup bowls as a fundraiser for “Meals on Wheels” which provides meals to the homebound.

Mary is also an artist who participates in the Annual Art Faculty Member Show each year. She firmly believes in the Arts and what they can do for our society. She feels that her students have so much to offer and they can accomplish it with a guiding hand. The Arts are an important part of her life and family.

Antoinette, known as “Toni” to her friends, is currently teaching at the new Central High Charter School, Tower Academy and James Madison Elementary School. Antoinette received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UW Madison. She earned her teaching license from Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, WI, and she also received an additional license for At-Risk Education from Concordia College in Milwaukee, WI. Antoinette has been teaching in the Sheboygan Area School District for the last 6 years.
Antoinette was nominated for this award because of her dedication to the arts, her ability to write new curriculum and her persistence to advocate for the arts and her students, during tough times. She was responsible for setting up as well as participating in the Annual Art Faculty Show.  It is her mission to inspire creativity, art appreciation and art-making as positive, life-long habits. Antoinette enjoys using a wide variety of art media to express herself as an artist; she especially enjoys working with portraiture.
Antoinette has served as a frequent mentor to art education students since 2005, working with at-risk high school youth in several alternative programs. She is an advisor for an extracurricular Jewelry-Making Club. She is currently collaborating with others in her district to develop a 21st Century Design Course for At-Risk students.  The arts are an important
part of her life.

Both teachers were nominated by their peers and selected by the Wisconsin Art Education Association.  The awards will be presented at the annual fall WAEA Conference in Eau Claire on October 27, 2011.

More information about WAEA and the Fall Conference can be found at

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
September 20, 2011