Sonoma County Arts Educator of the Year Award

Congratulations to Jolene Johnson,
the 2024
Sonoma County Arts Educator of the Year!

Honorable Mention Awardees:

Efraín Nava, Elsie Allen High School – Demonstrated Leadership

Yoshi Irene Makino, Geyserville New Tech Academy  – Mentorship

Jessica Martin, West Side Elementary School – Arts Education Champion

Kyle Thompson, Cesar Chavez Language Academy – Commitment to Equity

The Sonoma County Arts Educator of the Year Award, presented by Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and Creative Sonoma, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of arts education over an extended period of time. The award seeks to honor professional arts educators working with the K-12 population including, but not limited to, arts and classroom teachers who teach visual art, music, drama, dance, or multimedia arts.

This award is sponsored by the Daniels Chapel of Roses.

Nomination Criteria

Candidates must meet one or more of the following criteria through their work:

  • Demonstrated Leadership: Actively participates in efforts to enrich and diversify the educational landscape.
  • Commitment to Equity: Has vigorously supported endeavors that positively impact marginalized communities
  • Arts Education Champion: Contributed to the advancement of the field of arts education at the local, state or national level through research, publication, or advocacy.
  • Mentorship: Motivated and inspired others including students, colleagues, community members or members of the teaching profession. Positively influenced students with personal attention and care, even beyond the classroom.

Award Description

The award recipient will receive a $500 honoraria and a $500 gift card to a local arts store of their choice for classroom supplies. Recipients of this award will be honored at a to be determined Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance Event in Spring 2024. The recipients of the Arts Educator Award may be called upon by the Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance to provide a voice and advocacy for excellence in up to three local events and forums.

Nomination Process

Anyone is welcome to nominate for this award who can speak to the nominee’s qualifications and provide detailed examples. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nominator Questions

Contact Questions

    1. Nominator Name, Position, Contact information (email address, phone number), Relationship to Nominee
    2. Nominee Name, Contact information (email address, phone number)
    3. Nominee’s Teaching Experience (years experience, ages, current class load, etc.)

Qualifying Questions for Nominator

    1. Based upon which of the bulleted criteria above does the candidate qualify for this recognition?
    2. More specifically and completely, what makes this candidate deserving of the honor?
    3. (Optional) Is there anything else the committee might want to know about why the nominee is worthy of this recognition?

Nominee Qualifying Questions

(For Finalist applications only; not required for initial submission.)

  1. What do you feel has been your greatest contribution to education and/or the field of teaching and learning?
  2. How has your experience with schools or learning organizations shaped your art education work? (Please provide examples.)
  3. List three accomplishments as an arts educator of which you are most proud.
  4. What do you believe is most innovative about your education style?

Finalist applications will be provided the opportunity to supplement their submission by uploading work samples.

Selection Process

Nominators should inform nominees of their nomination. An initial review of applications will be conducted by a panel curated by Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and Creative Sonoma. Finalist applications will be notified and asked to submit answers to the Nominee Qualifying Questions (see nomination form).


Contact Debbie Yarrow at Creative Sonoma.

Made possible by

In partnership with

Owned and operated by the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID #94-2581084). | Designed by Schipper Design | Built & Maintained by Inbound Design
Call Box Office