LBC and Creative Sonoma Name Sonoma County Arts Educator of The Year

Jolene Johnson (center), Wes Daniels of Daniels Chapel of the Roses (left) and Ashleigh Worley, Director of Education & Community Engagement at the LBC (right)

Meet Jolene Johnson, Sonoma County’s first Arts Educator of the Year! The LBC and Creative Sonoma together presented the award to Jolene on March 27 at the Arts Education Alliance Mix and Mingle at Mitote Food Park. She also was honored at Sonoma County Office of Education’s “A Festive Thought” open house on April 4. In addition to the award, Jolene also received $500 honoraria and a $500 gift card to a local arts store of her choice for classroom supplies.

A resident of Santa Rosa for 40 years and an educator in Sonoma County since 2009, Jolene is a dance teacher at Analy High School in West Sonoma County and at Santa Rosa Junior College. She also teaches dance at the Movement Lab in Santa Rosa and has taught at the elementary school level in the county.

“I’m honored to be recognized for sharing my passion with the community and excited to continue inspiring others,” said Jolene. “Often, in t

he arts, we’re always looking for positive ways to help kids get through their day, find their passion, and have confidence in themselves. Teaching dance allows me to stay connected with the community and create opportunities in the arts for the students of West Sonoma County.”

Sponsored by Daniels Chapel of the Roses, the award honors professional arts educators working with the K-12 population – in particular, arts and classroom instructors who teach visual art, music, drama, dance, or multimedia arts. It recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of arts education over an extended period.

Honorable mention awards also were given to Efraín Nava of Elsie Allen High School, Kyle Thompson from Cesar Chavez Language Academy, Yoshi Makino from Geyserville New Tech Academy, and Jessica Martin from West Side Elementary.

Other finalists included Sandra Novia, Art Quest High School; Nancy Riccardi, Gravenstein Union School District; Walter Williams, Creekside High School and Sonoma Valley Museum of Art; Sarah Friedman, Spring Lake Middle School; Amy Waud-Reiter, Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts; Bridget Palmer, A Theater for Children, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts; and Matthew Bringedahl, Maria Carillo High School.

 

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