Artful Teaching coordinator earns award for championing arts in education

Amy Rautiainen is the 2022 Alaska Arts Education Consortium’s 2022 Arts Leader Champion of Arts in Education, the AAEC recently announced.

Rautiainen coordinates the Artful Teaching project, which is a partnership of Juneau School District, Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and University of Alaska Southeast. The award recognizes Alaskans who champion the arts in education, according to AAEC. AAEC is a nonprofit partnership of Alaska school districts, Alaska Native corporations, local arts agencies, and the Alaska State Council on the Arts.

Through Artful Teaching, Rautiainen works with the district’s educators to engage students by teaching in and through the arts and local culture, according to AAEC. Rautiainen has been with the program since 2015, according to AAEC.

“My involvement in the Artful Teaching project has completely transformed my teaching practice,” said Katy Ritter, a teacher at Sayeik: Gastineau School, in a news release. “Amy brings the arts integration experience alive and is a constant voice throughout the school year, inviting me to engage more deeply with arts integration, or asking me to reflect on my recent experiences with my students and colleagues. I am completely indebted to her consistent support throughout my professional career, and I can think of no one who is more deserving of this honor and recognition.”

Ritter nominated Rautiainen for the award.

In the release announcing the award, D’zantik’i Heen’i Middle School principal Molly Yerkes spoke positively of the impact Rautiainen and Artful Teaching have had.

“I have seen the artful teaching strategies she has fostered drastically improve attendance and students’ enjoyment of learning,” Yerkes said. Students experience academic and personal success due to her professional support of so many teachers. Ms. Rautiainen is very much a change maker for the arts, students, teachers, administrators, and artists.”

Rautiainen will be recognized at the Alaska Council of School Administrators 2022 Alaska’s Heart through Student Art Show, an annual celebration co-sponsored by Alaska Arts Education Consortium and GCI Education.

It will be held 4-6 p.m. Tuesday in the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building.

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

Amy Rautiainen is the 2022 Alaska Arts Education Consortium’s 2022 Arts Leader Champion of Arts in Education, the AAEC recently announced. (Courtesy Photo)

Anita Shire

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