Christina Garay Lohry, dance educator at A+ school Benton Heights Elementary School of the Arts, was named the 2012 Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year at an A+ network-wide webinar on Thursday, May 3. Ms. Lohry, who has taught at BHESA for the last five years, has also recently been selected as an A+ Fellow, part of the A+ Schools Program training faculty, following a one-year apprenticeship.
Ms. Lohry exemplifies the vision of long-time A+ Executive Director Gerry Howell in both her personal and professional life. “At fifty, I have never stopped standing on my head, skipping down the street or singing to the stars. The arts are a part of me,” stated Ms. Lohry in her personal essay. She also speaks of her belief that “a child’s first doorway to learning is the body, followed by the realm of imagination and relationships. By mirroring the child’s inner world, the arts are an obvious way to nurture a child’s intellect, heart and body.” Frank Casstevens, arts coordinator at BHESA, says of Ms. Lohry, “Like Ms. Howell, she challenges, motivates and inspires our students to create a culture and environment that believes every child can succeed.” Ms. Lohry holds both a master in education and a master of arts degree and is a certified Brain Gym instructor. She resides in Matthews, N.C.
Ms. Lohry will receive $250 worth of classroom arts products generously donated by Crayola and will serve as an “ambassador’ for the A+ Schools Program for the next school year.
The Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award was created in memory of Gerry D. Howell, long-time A+ Schools Program executive director and the inspiration behind the creative teaching and learning of countless educators, administrators and students across N.C. To honor her legacy, each year the A+ Schools Program selects one dedicated A+ educator who best exemplifies these values of the A+ Schools Program and its philosophies:
- challenges, motivates and inspires students by supporting a learning environment that is art-filled, creative, relevant, engaging and reflective
- is respected by peers, parents and students
- is caring and creative, seeking to enrich the lives of all students
- demonstrates a commitment to the arts, a collaborative spirit, leadership and flexibility
- has a dedication to life-long learning
For more information on the Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year Award or the A+ Schools Program, please visit http://aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov.