Lakota Mossey, an art teacher at Liberty Elementary School, was named the Arizona Art Education Association’s (AAEA) 2020 Elementary Art Teacher of the Year.

“This award means to me that my passion and dedication are recognized, it also means that I am on the right path and doing what I love shows. What’s the old saying ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’” says Mossey.

Each year the AAEA recognizes those who have gone above and beyond in their service to the field of art education.

Exceptional teachers are nominated by other members and those not in the association as well. Each nominee is scored using a rubric to determine the winner.

Mossey was selected as this year’s winner because of her outstanding performance.

Here are just a few of her accomplishments:
• Involved with the Molly Blank Fund Teaching Artist Residency Program.
• Lead art teacher for the Paradise Valley Unified School District.
• Partnered with WorldatWork on the creation of an art project by her students called “The Future of Work.”
• Featured in an article in Worldatwork Workspan magazine, and collaborated on their 2020 annual conference in Dallas.
• Graduated from the Kennedy Arts Center integration program.
• Currently working on National Board Certification.
• Has been teaching for 15 years and holds high rapport with her colleagues.

Mossey explains her teaching philosophy: “I believe in an arts integration approach to teaching and to encompass the other subjects into each art lesson I teach, whether it is biology, physics, history, or poetry, it makes for a deeper connection and understanding.”

This is Mossey’s third year teaching in PVSchools. There will be an awards ceremony held later this year; an exact date and place are still being determined. AAEA is an affiliate of the National Arts Education Association.