The 2018 Fall Conference for the Colorado Art Education Association (CAEA) was held in Breckenridge, Colorado from November 8-10, 2018. During the conference, Alexa Overby was honored as 2018 High School Art Educator of the Year.
There are many wonderful ways to describe Alexa’s unique ability to connect with her students and colleagues. She exhibits exemplary professionalism within all of her teacher and leadership responsibilities. She is a skilled performer, a master juggler, compassionate, and supportive. Her driven and tenacious “make no excuses” spirit is softly cloaked in humble gentleness. Her reach is extensive within her classroom, and out into the world of art where her work and advocacy touch East High School as a whole and within the Denver Public School District and surrounding community.
She balances with seeming ease, her roles as a Photography Teacher, Curriculum Specialist, East High School Senior Team Lead, Denver Public Schools Regional Team Specialist, CAEA Collage Editor, and Mother to three extraordinary girls, a dog, and numerous other animals. Linda Slobodin recognizes Alexa’s ability to foster growth among dedicated art educators in her leadership roles that illustrates her desire to further enhance the professionalism of art education in Colorado.
Alexa’s AP Studio Art, AP Art History, and Photography students know her to be patient, empathetic, and kind. Through her ability to analyze and reflect, and in her spirited belief in the power and potential of learning, Alexa seeks endless ways to authentically engage students and show their work where they are regularly recognized for excellence. Barth Quenzer shares that one of the hallmarks of Alexa’s pedagogy of praxis is her ability to put a persuasive vision into collective action. She built a photography program without adequate resources, a handful of cameras, and an overflowing classroom. She collaborates with the Center of Visual Arts at Metro State University, leads National Art Honor Society, participates in Scholastic Art Awards, Denver Month of Photography Teen exhibitions, Colorado Student Art Month, East Art Walk, Art Camps, Internships, and in many other community collaborations and events. Linda Slobodin shares how Alexa initiated a collaborative art installation piece with their classes that fostered a clearer sense of community within their department. She provides activities which ignite curiosity, for example, students chose adults who impacted their life, and created large black and white portraits of staff members showcased in the main school hallway. Joyce Baker concludes, “This woman exceeds all definitions of what it takes to be a great educator. I know of no other educator I have ever met in my 30-year career who is more deserving of this honor.”