Art Teacher Mrs. Veenhuyzen receives Secondary Art Teacher of the Year award

Falcon Art teacher Mrs. Van Veenhuyzen received the Secondary Art Teacher of the Year award for the state of Virginia last weekend, and rightly so. She was celebrated by those who have cheered her on and supported her over the past several years.     

Not only does Van Veenhuyzen teach all levels of art at the school, but she is also the National Art Honor Society sponsor, continuously entering her students’ work into a myriad of contests and sometimes showing off some work of her own.  She makes connections to her students and their art with never-ending encouragement and praise, not only motivating students to enter their artwork into contests throughout Hampton Roads, but she takes them on ‘field trips’ to European countries to not only “see” the art, but to truly “experience” the art.

Thus, the award comes as no surprise to her colleagues, students and former students who know her dedication to everything she touches.

Q: How long have you been teaching

A: “Nine years.” 

Q: What degrees do you have in art? 

A: “ I have a Bachelors Fine Art and Bachelor Art Education degree.”

Q: Were you surprised to receive this award? 

A: “Yes.”

Q: Did you apply or was it given to you? 

A: “Somebody nominated me, I am not sure who that was.  Once I found out I had a student write my recommendation letter, what better way to have a recommendation come from someone that I taught.”

Q: How do you think this award will influence your teaching?

A: “I’ve never been a practical teacher, done what I wanted to do, so winning this award proved that what I was doing was right.  Getting out of the classroom and going on field trips, not following the rules.” 

Q: How did your students react to your announcement of the award?

A: “They were so very excited.  I had a coat that I wore at the ceremony that they all signed for me.” 

Q: What will you do from here on out to continue to make your mark and influence student artists? 

A:  “Just keep doing what I am doing, obviously it is working.”