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Barbara Laws is a veteran educator. She has been working as the Senior Coordinator for Art in Norfolk Public Schools in Virginia for the past 14 years. Before that, she held the positions of elementary school assistant principal, instructional specialist, and art teacher, all for Norfolk Public Schools. She has served the National Art Education Association in a number of positions: Supervision and Administration Division Director; National Convention Program Director; and Southeastern Region Vice President and has served on various committees. Her honors include NAEA Elementary Art Educator, Supervision and Administration Art Educator, Marion Quin Dix Award and Distinguished Fellow. She is also actively involved with the Virginia Art Education Association and has served in many capacities, including, President, Secretary; Supervision and Administration Division Chair; Policy Chair; and TVAEA President. She has been named Virginia Art Educator and is also a VAEA Distinguished Fellow. She was a Founding Director of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She is currently appointed to the Norfolk Commission for Arts and Humanities and involved with the Virginia Coalition for Fine Arts Education. She earned her Doctor of Education degree from The George Washington University and her Master's and Bachelor's degrees from Old Dominion University.
"We know that people make meaning of the world in different ways and that for some students the arts are their way of connecting to or entering the school experience. Recent research indicates beneficial results in 4 areas from high quality arts education programs: student achievement, motivation and engagement, creative thinking, and social competencies. At the heart of it, the arts allow people to express what it means to be human. We owe it to all of America’s children to allow them opportunities to engage in rich and substantive arts education."—Barbara Laws