Chris Grodoski (MS03) Named Middle School Art Educator of the Year

Chris Grodoski (MS03) Named Middle School Art Educator of the Year

Chris Grodoski

Christopher Grodoski (MS03), an art teacher at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton, Illinois, received the 2012 Illinois Middle School Art Educator of the Year award from the Illinois Art Education Association. This award, which recognizes exemplary contributions, service and achievements, will be presented at the IAEA conference on November 2.

A graduate of the Master of Science in Education Program at the School of Education and Social Policy, Grodoski was selected on the basis of his outstanding commitment to visual art education and his wider contributions in Illinois, according to the IAEA.

Grodoski began teaching in 2002 for Chicago Public Schools at Laura Ward Elementary. There, he started two art programs while also teaching regular education for seventh and eighth graders. Since 2008, Grodoski has worked at Franklin Middle School. Principal David Bendis states, “I can say unequivocally that Mr. Chris Grodoski is the best art educator I have experienced. If fact, he is one of the finest educators I have had the privilege to call my colleague.”

Grodoski also serves as an art education advocate at the local, state and national levels. He recently joined the Illinois Art Education Association board as advocacy adviser, and he has served in leadership roles at the National Art Education Association (NAEA). Additionally, Grodoski has presented art education research at NAEA conventions. He has developed a method for interpreting images, called “unpacking,” that will be described in an upcoming article in the journal Art Education.

Currently Grodoski is working on a PhD in art education at Northern Illinois University. His work is centered on instruction for creativity and policy.

Grodoski credits Northwestern's MSEd program with preparing him not only for teaching in different types of schools but also for leadership in the teaching profession. "The program exposed me to larger issues in the context of education and ways that a teacher can go about having an influence in their field," he says. "Exposure to the work of researchers at SESP, like Dr. Hess, was a driving factor in pursuing a PhD and working in professional organizations."

"I certainly owe a great debt to the instruction and training I received at the SESP. My learning there influenced my teaching, but even the research I am pursuing in my PhD work."

Grodoski also acknowledges the support of his current school community. “Although this award is a high honor, it highlights my debt to a supportive administrative team, the school community and the Franklin students. I am grateful for the opportunity to teach in a community that values visual arts education so highly,” he says of his award.

The IAEA is an association of art educators of Illinois. Founded more than 75 years ago, IAEA provides professional development for educators through workshops, conferences, grants, exhibitions and promoting conditions for the effective teaching of art.

By IAEA and Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 11/6/12