Cris Guenter Selected as National Art Educator of the Year
Cris Guenter, graduate coordinator in the Department of Education, was selected by the National Art Education Association to receive the 2008 National Art Educator of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes the exemplary contributions, service, and achievements of one outstanding NAEA member.
Guenter will accept the award at the NAEA National Convention in New Orleans, March 26-30. She is scheduled to give two presentations at the convention—one on the use of wikis, blogs, and podcasting for state associations and the other on using oil pastels.
NAEA President Bonnie Rushlow said, “This award is given to recognize excellence in professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated art educator. Dr. Guenter exemplifies the highly qualified individuals who are active in the field of art education today: leaders, teachers, students, scholars, and advocates who give their best to the profession.”
Guenter has been at CSU, Chico since 1987 and has contributed to the advancement of arts education at every level, within the University and beyond, while teaching and continuing to practice her art.
Guenter has helped her department and other teachers integrate technology into the teaching of art. Her research interests include technology’s intersection with the arts, assessment and electronic portfolios, and effective online rural/distance education. Her teaching focuses on arts education, computer graphics and technology, and creativity across the curriculum.
Her service and awards include serving as the first chair of the Arts Commission for the City of Chico, from 1990 to 1996. She was named CSU, Chico’s Outstanding Teacher for 2000 and California's Outstanding Visual Art Educator for 2001–2002. The Kennedy Center in Washington asked her in 2000 to collaborate on arts education and online instruction. She received the International MERLOT Teacher Education Classics Award for Exemplary Online Learning Resources in 2002. From 2002 to 2007, she served as president-elect, president, and past president of the California Art Education Association.
Beyond her CSU, Chico workload, she currently chairs the National Art Education Association Web Site Advisory Committee and does teacher education online work for the California State University Chancellor’s Office.
Guenter began painting in elementary school, sold her first painting in junior high and held her first solo exhibit in high school. She is a Smethport, Penn., native and an alumna of Penn State, where she received a BS in Art Education and a BFA in art, and the University of Wyoming, where she received an MAT in painting and graphics and an EdD in education foundations.
Guenter has been exhibiting her photographs and paintings in regional, national, and international exhibitions since 1972. She has participated in two national juried exhibits: NAEA Electronic Gallery 2006, hosted by the National Art Education Association in Chicago, Ill. in 2005; and Painting Sherwood Forest, a national juried plein air competition celebrating the 2005 Centennial of Bidwell Park in Chico, Calif. She was one of 40 artists selected from a national pool.
Guenter was editorial consultant/contributor in the areas of educational technology, portfolio development, and assessment for updating Glencoe/McGraw Hill Publishers' middle school textbook series. She authored “Portfolio and Assessment Techniques,” second edition (Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 2005).
“This is an extreme honor for me, my department, and Chico State,” said Guenter. “I have been an active member in NAEA since my days as a student teacher. Then and now, others figure into this rich, varied, and sometimes surprising tapestry that is my life. You do not receive recognition like this for working alone; you earn it by sharing, collaborating, and learning from others. I will accept this award on behalf of all those with whom I work, teach, and learn."
In addition to traveling to New Orleans to receive this award, Guenter will give two invited presentations this year, one at the SAP University Alliance Congress in Atlanta on March 1 and the other the keynote address in St. Cloud for Art Educators of Minnesota on Nov. 8.
— Kathleen McPartland, Public Affairs and Publications