Meridian area arts educators

Meridian area arts educators and organizations recognized at the recent 2016 Arts Education Awards are, from left, Marsha Iverson, Meridian High School; Terisa Pittman and Kate Cherry, Meridian Museum of Art; Ronnie Miller, Meridian Little Theatre; and Teri Edwards, Lauderdale County School District.

For their work in making a difference in arts education in Mississippi schools, communities and the world around them, Paige Satcher, Teri Edwards, Ronnie Miller, Marsha Iverson, Jewell Lynn Shirley, and the Meridian Museum of Art were honored at the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) Awards Ceremony, held during the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Whole Schools Institute at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Resort & Hospitality Management Center in Gulfport.

“Every year, the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education honors outstanding individuals and organizations from throughout the state who have made a difference in the lives of students through and in the arts,” said Executive Director Dr. Penny Wallin. “For 2016, 18 inspiring, creative, innovative recipients and two scholarship winners are being celebrated. MAAE is committed to make arts accessible every day for every Mississippi student and to recognize those who support that goal.”

Award categories for the area’s recipients are:

Thad Cochran Distinguished Arts Educator  Middle School Arts Integration

Paige Satcher, Clarkdale Middle School

After graduating from Mississippi State University in 2012, Paige Satcher has been integrating the arts into her classrooms ever since. She teaches history and science at Clarkdale Middle School and is pursuing a master of arts degree in school administration at Mississippi State University. Satcher serves as arts coordinator for the MSU Riley Center, is chairperson of Clarkdale Middle School’s Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team and has been selected as after school art instructor.

Outstanding Administrator of the Year

Teri Edwards, Lauderdale County School District

Teri Edwards is K-4 curriculum director for Lauderdale County School District. She is a member of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education Leadership Team, whereby she represents her district in Washington, D.C. each year at the annual meeting. Edwards initiated and funded the Arts in the Classroom and Whole Schools Initiative Grant while principal at Northeast Elementary School. She is a major player in the county’s musical theatre production each year. In addition, she plans, organizes and implements the arts professional development for the schools that are MSU Riley Center Arts in Education schools.

Exemplary Arts Service for an Individual

Marsha Iverson, Meridian High School

A visual arts teacher for 25 years, Marsha Iverson teaches and chairs the arts department at Meridian High School and is director of education activities at Meridian Museum of Art. She is a Disney American Teacher nominee, recipient of the Thad Cochran Distinguished Arts Educator Award in 2001, was named Arts Educator of the Year by the Meridian Council for the Arts in 2001 and Volunteer of the Year for the Meridian Museum of Art in 2008. Iverson is a 10-year arts coordinator for the MSU Riley Center through the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program. She is a strong arts advocate. Iverson initiated and founded the first National Honor Society in Mississippi at Meridian High School. She speaks at civic clubs, city council meetings, and school board meetings about the importance of the arts for our children.

Distinguished Cultural Institution Program Award

Meridian Museum of Art

Since 1970, Meridian Museum of Art has served the residents of Meridian, East Mississippi and West Alabama. The museum offers more free programming than any museum in the state and more than 30 exhibitions annually – from decorative arts to ethnographic and tribal materials, photography, crafts and artworks by contemporary Mississippi and Alabama artists. The artists are also featured in a growing permanent collection, along with a collection of 18th and 19th century portraits. Special programs and classes encourage participation from Meridian Community College, schools in Lauderdale County, and the bi-state area.

Lifetime Achievement in Theatre

Ronnie Miller

Ronnie Miller is executive and artistic director of Meridian Little Theatre, and spent 48 years teaching theatre at Meridian Community College. Miller served as president and vice president for the Mississippi Theatre Association (MTA), hosted MTA state conventions and play festivals, received local and state theatre awards including MTA’s Cowboy Maloney Award, and is active in several arts organizations in Meridian, the Meridian Symphony Orchestra and Meridian Museum of Art. Miller has taught theatre workshops around the state, received numerous awards, and the Meridian Community College Art Gallery was recently named after his for his work in art education.

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