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UNC Faculty Member, Alumni Recognized for Excellence in Art Education

Donna Goodwin

November 15, 2022

At the Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) fall conference, multiple University of Northern Colorado affiliated art educators were recognized for their impact in the field including School of Art and Design (SOAD) Director Donna Goodwin, Ph.D., who was awarded Art Educator of the Year.  

According to CAEA, the award recognizes excellence in contributions, dedicated service and professional achievements in the field of visual arts education.  Award recipients “exemplify highly qualified art educators that are leaders, teachers, students, scholars and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession.” 

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to be singled out among the incredible, dedicated and talented art educators in Colorado,” said Goodwin. “The reason I do anything that I do is to advocate for the importance of art in school and in students’ lives by supporting their teachers.” 

Goodwin has been active in the art education industry for nearly three decades. She is a licensed teacher and principal with experience ranging in all grade levels. In addition to her classroom and administrative experience, Goodwin is a strong advocate for arts education policy. She has successful experience working in museum education and does independent consulting work for schools and arts organizations specifically in arts integration, the arts and sheltered instruction for emerging bilinguals, arts assessment, targeted professional development for diverse learners, curriculum writing and program evaluation. 

“My teaching and research are focused on advocacy for art educators and their students – be this through interpretation of educational policy, influencing standards for student learning or art educator evaluation, proving instructional support, or informing strategies for teaching and learning in the arts,” Goodwin said. 

Three UNC alumni were also recognized at the conference. Paulina Wilkerson, a recent Art Education graduate and teacher at Frontier Valley Elementary, was awarded the CAEA Emerging Art Educator of the Year; Jessi Ruby, an art and technology teacher at Tointon Academy of Pre-Engineers, was awarded the CAEA Leadership Within the Profession award; and Karen Eberle-Smith, a teacher at Mountain Pheonix Community School, was awarded Middle School Art Educator of the Year.  

“Late educational philosopher and art advocate Maxine Greene said it best – the arts may not change the world, but they may change someone who can change the world. I believe this and I believe our art education graduates are the ones who do,” Goodwin said. 

According to their website, the mission of CAEA is to strengthen, advance and promote the vital role of visual arts education in the State of Colorado. 


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