Middle Level Art Educator of the Year

Ursina Amsler – Masconomet Regional School District

Ursina’s philosophy on teaching is that the art room needs to be a place where students connect to find success: They must connect with the materials used, the subject matter of the lesson, their peers, and their teacher. When they feel valued, supported and heard, they will be proud of the work they create and will find meaning in it. She is profoundly more interested in sparking their curiosity by combining materials in unique and intriguing ways than she is on specifically teaching around the elements and principles— she believes that a well-structured lesson that provides the framework for success will naturally encourage thoughtful choices and discernment. One measure of professional satisfaction is that very often, students will say that taking her class has made them “like art again”. Adolescents can be very self-critical, and if Ursina feels she has boosted their creative confidence, then she feels successful as well! She is also proud to be part of a public middle school art department that has consistently been among the top award winners in the Boston Globe Regional Scholastic Art Awards.