I'd like to introduce you to Melissa Hronkin!
Melissa was recognized as Michigan Elementary Art Educator of the Year in 2014. She was also named the 2014 National Elementary Art Educator of the Year. She has been teaching K-5 art at Houghton Portage Elementary School in Houghton, MI for the past seven years within her eighteen year teaching career, of which sixteen have been as a full time art educator. During her career it is difficult to pin point one memorable moment so far but one that stands out was when a Kindergartner said "I know you are the art teacher because you smell like crayons." That was a pinnacle moment for her this school year.
In an article on the Minneapolis College of Art and Design website upon Melissa was said to believe that "creativity is not just about making things - it is about moving people with an idea. Her philosophy is that the arts provide the vocabulary for expression, and that is essential within a curriculum and for making sense of our ever-changing world."
Since Melissa was awarded "Art Educator of the Year" in 2014 she's been continuing to hone her teaching skills and volunteering for MAEA. Her future plans are to teach for twelve more years, continue to work at her business with her husband (bees and mead), showcase art with her community. She went on to say, "I hope to continue to work on my own art and mindfulness in everything she do!"
Melissa's favorite art quote:
Melissa and her husband are licensed beekeepers in the Upper Peninsula running Algomah Acres Honey Farm. In 2012 she gave this TEDTalk in Marquette about bees and what we can learn from how the bee hive functions.