Congratulations to Sara Klein (MA 2005), teacher and school programs manager at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, who has been named the Western Region Museum Art Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association. This peer-review award, presented at the NAEA National Convention in New Orleans in March 2015, recognizes the achievements and contributions of an outstanding NAEA member. In an ArtDaily interview, NAEA President Dennis Inhulsen explained, “Sara Klein exemplifies the highly qualified art educators active in education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars and advocates who give their best to their students and the profession.”
Sara received her MA in Art History and a certificate in Museum Studies at FSU in 2005. Her area of specialization was modern art; her thesis was entitled Putting Katherine Dreier into Perspective: Collecting Modern Art in 20th-Century America. While obtaining her degree, Klein worked as a research assistant at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts and was president of the Art History Association. In 2005, Klein joined the staff at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK, where she managed the docent program, developed student and teacher programs, and wrote collection-based curriculum.
From the Amon Carter Museum press release:
Serving as the Amon Carter’s Teacher and School Programs Manager since 2009, Sara oversees a program that collectively serves 26,309 individuals annually, which represents 22% of the Amon Carter’s visitorship. She designs, implements, and evaluates all professional development for educators, including onsite programs, inservices at schools, and via distance learning. Educator programs connect teachers from a variety of backgrounds to the Amon Carter’s collection and special exhibitions by providing them with the knowledge, strategies, and resources to integrate artwork into classroom curriculum. She provides content relevant to featured works of art and then models best practices so that teachers can replicate these dialogue- and inquiry-based experiences with their students. Teachers receive resources, such as digital images, image guides, and a mediagraphy, that help introduce students to artworks and supplement existing classroom lessons with works of art.
Sara also supervises a team of six professional gallery teachers who facilitate all PreK–12th grade museum experiences. Student programs connect these audiences with the Amon Carter’s collection and special exhibitions through sustained looking, guided inquiry, personal interpretation, and independent exploration. Gallery teachers provide students with a welcoming environment to view and discuss works of art at length and encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas. An inquiry-based method allows students to hone their critical thinking and writing skills, gain confidence looking at and talking about art in any museum or life situation, and connect with works of art on academic and personal levels. Finally, through carefully crafted and exciting curricula, student programs aim to cultivate future generations of art museum patrons and members.