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Mr. Wilson Named NYSATA Region 4 Art Educator of the Year
"In the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t really matter if you can draw a portrait, paint a landscape, or create a ceramic cup. What matters is the way you creatively work, persevere, and the experiences you share with others. Art isn’t always about the result but more about the process, and that is why it’s so important."

Congratulations to Chenango Valley High School art teacher Mr. Matthew Wilson who was named the Region 4 Art Educator of the Year by the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA)! According to the organization, this award is presented to teachers who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to the field of art education and NYSATA, as well as practiced exemplary teaching, strong advocacy, and made an impact on those around them.

We asked Mr. Wilson some questions that help to illustrate his passion for teaching, the arts, and helping to inspire students to achieve their full potential:

Brief Description of Teaching Career:
I began my teaching career as an adjunct professor of ceramics at the State University of New York at Oswego. Shortly after, I began a full-time position for the Norwich City School District as the middle school art teacher where I taught for eight years. I am now on my third year as one of the high school art teachers here at Chenango Valley. I currently teach courses in studio 2d, drawing, painting, AP 2D, fast forward drawing, and fast forward printmaking. Throughout this time, I have also enjoyed coaching for the soccer and track and field programs, and holding positions for clubs and extracurriculars.

What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was inspired to become a teacher through my love for learning. I have always enjoyed trying new things, especially in the realm of art. I have also always loved sharing this experience with others. When my previous teachers would show me new techniques and new mediums, I knew early on that this would be a great career path for me.

What is your favorite part of being a teacher?
My favorite part about being a teacher is the shared experiences with my students. Whether it's art, sports, or personal; making connections and learning together is a rewarding experience. I enjoy coming to work because of my students who truly want to learn and better themselves with my help. My favorite part of being an art teacher is that regardless of race, gender, socioeconomics, and other factors, talent doesn’t discriminate. Seeing raw skill and talent that I can nurture show up in the most unlikely places is an exciting thing. I like to uncover a love for art that people might not even know they had.  

What is one piece of advice that you would like your students to always carry with them?
One piece of advice that I like to share with my students is: In the grand scheme of life, it doesn’t really matter if you can draw a portrait, paint a landscape, or create a ceramic cup. What matters is the way you creatively work, persevere, and the experiences you share with others. Art isn’t always about the result but more about the process, and that is why it’s so important.

Anything you would like to add:
I think there are so many deserving teachers for this award and ones alike. Being a teacher can sometimes be a thankless profession. Our jobs have a lot of hats to juggle and at the end of the day we always make our decisions on what’s best for kids, which usually can mean putting their needs above our own. In the current climate, I think it’s important to take time to acknowledge all teachers working hard and give grace to those who are struggling to meet the needs of every student. It’s a team effort and I am so grateful for the acknowledgment!


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