The art room at Lakeview Elementary is Terri Barton’s happy place.
Barton has taught art at Lakeview for 19 years and was recently named this year’s Middle Tennessee Art Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Art Education Association.
Southside Elementary art teacher Pam Coots nominated Barton for the award this summer. Barton pulled together her portfolio, then forgot about it.
All the wife and mom of two grown children knows is she loves her job at the elementary school and especially the approximately 590 students in all grades who come to her classroom once a week to explore all facets of art.
“It’s a huge honor,” Barton said. “I am so lucky to work in Wilson County. We have so many amazing art teachers. We inspire each other and are friends, and we support each other.”
Barton will be honored at the TAEA Professional Development Fall Conference in October.
This is not the first award for Barton. She was chosen Wilson County Teacher of the Year in 2003. Barton has a degree in art education from the University of Tennessee and a certificate in layout and design from the Harris School of Art in Franklin.
She knew she wanted to teach art as early as her junior year in high school.
“I’ve always loved art,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to teach, and be an inspiration. Art was my favorite subject and I always loved my teachers.”
She started Wilson County’s participation in the Frist’s Superintendent’s Art Show, and led Wilson County’s participation for three years.
“I love taking my students’ art to represent Lakeview at the Wilson County Fair,” she said.
With school almost a month in, Barton said she is beyond excited about what she has on tap for her students. First graders are working on “under the sea” pictures to learn about lines, patterns and space. The second graders are working on self-portrait collages and the third graders are working on their interpretation of the sun, she said.
Fourth- and fifth-grade students are working on plaster on gauze on canvas, and print making.
“What I am really excited about is I have a Tennessee sculptor planned to visit my fifth graders soon,” she said.
Lakeview principal Tracey Burge said she feels blessed to have Burton at her school.
“Every year, I am amazed how she is able to extract the artistic talents from our students,” Burge said. “In a world where academic performance dictates how well a school performs, Mrs. Barton reminds me of the talent and skill that far exceeds a standardized assessment. She believes in the whole child and we are better because of it.”