By Kathy L. Collins
Margit Redlawsk has been named Elementary Art Teacher of the Year by the Hillsborough Art Education Association. Redlawsk is an art teacher at Apollo Beach Elementary School. Redlawsk is one of 144 elementary art teachers in Hillsborough County.
Redlawsk has been an art educator for 20 years. For the last six years, she has been with Apollo Beach Elementary, where she created Family Art Night. Redlawsk said, “Family Art Night was created to involve the community in the importance of art education in our schools. I wanted to show families that when their children come to art each week, there is so much more they are learning than what most people expect.”
Prior to Apollo Beach Elementary, Redlawsk taught for 14 years at Summerfield Elementary School. “Teaching art, especially at the elementary school level, is so rewarding because of the enthusiasm and general love of all things creative at this age. Their enthusiasm helps me continue my passion for the arts and encourages me to continue as a practicing artist,” said Redlawsk.
In addition to teaching art to children in public school, Redlawsk is a District Trainer mentoring new art teachers for the past 10 years.
Redlawsk is an advocate for art education in schools. “Art education is so important because there are so many connections to other areas of a child’s education and their lives. It helps students develop an appreciation of the arts and how art plays a part in our history. It is all about problem solving, thinking and reflecting in a deeper way, which gets them ready for a career in a global economy,” said Redlawsk.
Outside of the classroom, Redlawsk is a children’s art instructor at the SouthShore Regional Library as well as an artist. Relawsk’s own artwork is in watercolor and focuses on the beauty of Florida’s nature. “My love of color has encouraged me to begin painting in acrylics and on glass,” said Redlawsk. Some of Redlawsk’s works are currently on display at the SouthShore Regional Library’s Crawford Gallery in Ruskin. She has seven pieces in the exhibit which runs through June. For more information, visit www.hcplc.org.