In the Loop
Student Stories : Feb 10, 2015

Art Education student receives D.C. Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Art

By Jessie Ward

Art education student, Bryan Hill, has recently been awarded the Mayor’s Art Award for Excellence in Teaching Art in Washington, D.C. where he has spent the last 16 years working as an elementary school art teacher. Bestowed by the city and the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, this is one of the most prestigious awards given to artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations and art patrons.

“It is one of the awards in the city that you always keep your eyes on, they are the Oscars of the art world for Washington, D.C.,” says Hill. “To have my name included with some of the great art teachers of the city made me both honored and humbled.”

Last September, Hill received a call from the Commission informing him that he was a finalist for the award. Having been nominated once before and not winning, he didn’t get his hopes up.

“I was lost for words on the night when my name was called as a winner.”

Hill is a graduate of the Department of Education from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and is currently earning a master’s in art education from UF online while still working as a visual art teacher at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School in D.C. He knows that his years of experience have been beneficial to his chances at this award.

“I think that I keep getting better,” says Hill. “There was no way that I would have been considered for something like this five or six years ago, I just didn’t know enough. Teaching is a learning process.”

Hill will be in New Orleans March 26-28 representing the District of Columbia at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) national convention. He will be representing the three entities that he gives credit to all of his classroom successes: Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Florida and NAEA’s DC affiliate Art Education DC (AEDC).