Art Education and Teacher Leadership: Contributing to School Culture and Success

NAEA Town Hall Conversations | May 18, 2021

Art Education and Teacher Leadership: Contributing to School Culture and Success

View the May 18 recording here

Download the accompanying handout here

As arts educators, many of us are charged with representing and advocating for visual arts, design, and media arts among administrators, faculty, families, and students. We have the power, as creative leaders, to weave what we teach into the fiber of the culture of our schools, institutions, and communities—not only contributing to the present, but building a foundation for future growth for ourselves, our learners, and the field. Learn from visual arts education leaders and administrators about how they plan for success, challenges they’ve faced, and hear them answer questions from educators in the field at this NAEA Town Hall Conversation.

Complete information on all NAEA Town Hall Conversations is available here.


Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent, Alexandria City Public Schools, Alexandria, VA

Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. returned to Alexandria in July 2018 to serve as superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). Previously, he served as a teacher, assistant principal, and middle school principal before becoming superintendent of Shaker Heights Schools in Cleveland, Ohio, in 2013. In 2009, he was named Tennessee Middle School Principal of the Year, and in 2018, he was selected for the National Superintendent of the Year Award by the National Alliance of Black School Educators. Hutchings holds a doctorate in educational policy, planning, and leadership from the College of William & Mary. Hutchings is also a proud graduate of T. C. Williams High School at ACPS.

Margaret Koreman
Art Educator, Decatur Classical School, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL

Margaret Koreman served as an art educator in the Chicago Public Schools for 29 years; she is currently teaching art at Decatur Classical School. Koreman’s teaching practice crafts a multimedia approach to focus on contemporary artists, particularly those active in Chicago. Her enthusiasm for the local art community builds partnerships between students and the artists who shape the neighborhoods. She has a master’s degree in art education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she taught as a faculty member. Koreman regularly hosts and mentors student teachers from regional university programs. She encourages her student teachers to shape their professional growth by developing best practices and presenting at state and national conventions. Koreman previously worked as a consultant at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. She recently completed Intuit’s Urban/Rural Art Fellowship, cosponsored by the Kohler Museum, at Nick Engelbert’s Grandview house museum and art environment. She is the vice president of the board of directors at Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE), supporting CAPE’s mission of integrating teaching artists with classroom teachers to develop student-led, inquiry-based research and curriculum.

John Green-Otero
Creative Learning Initiative District-Wide Coordinator, Austin Independent School District, Leander, TX

Raised in Puerto Rico, John Green-Otero’s first exposure to the arts was in cultural celebrations, where he performed traditional Puerto Rican dances, including plena, salsa, and merengue. He later began playing musical instruments to accompany the celebrations, leading to his lifelong love of the guitar. In college, he enrolled in theater, art, and philosophy classes. Green-Otero performed in black box theater productions, improv, and interpretive art installations and demonstrations. But the arts weren’t his only passion. Growing up, he spent his summers volunteering in his aunt’s schools, where she was a principal. Also in college, he mentored and tutored Cuban refugees to help them transition into life in the United States. Green-Otero became an accomplished teacher specializing in arts-integrated lesson design for bilingual and ESL students and an arts-integration instructional coach for teachers. He has won several awards and commendations for his work. Currently, Green-Otero oversees Austin ISD’s Creative Learning Initiative, where he promotes engagement, collaboration, critical thinking, cultural awareness, equity, and access to the arts for all students preK–12. As the coordinator, he works to make all Austin ISD schools arts rich by 2024.

Vanessa Smart
Instructional Coach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

Vanessa Smart has more than 20 years of experience teaching K–12 visual arts and is currently an instructional coach at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works with beginning teachers in the state of North Carolina and facilitates workshops and professional development sessions on teaching and coaching through an equity lens, social–emotional learning, and influence and advocacy in the arts. Her research interests focus on critical theory, diversity, and representation in visual arts. Smart is currently working as a social–emotional learning course consultant with the North Carolina Museum of Art and serves as an NAEA Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Commissioner. She holds a PhD in educational research and policy analysis from North Carolina State University.

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